Unless you were born in the fifties, the idea of waiting 15 minutes to get a second marshmallow might not be that strong of a test of your ability to delay gratification. Enter the Marshmallow Test Redux.
To up the ante on the Marshmallow Test, students will attempt the challenge with a single unwrapped mini-candy bar.
- Unwrap the mini-candy bar and place it in front of you on the desk.
- The candy bar should be within your view at all times.
- You are welcome to eat the candy bar at any time you would like, but…
- If after 15 minutes you haven’t eaten the candy bar, you will be rewarded with a second mini-candy bar.
Reflections from the test:
Turn and talk with your partner about the following questions. Be prepared to share what you discussed with the class.
- Was your patience rewarded or did you give into temptation and eat the first candy bar?
- How long were you able to delay the gratification of eating the candy bar?
- What strategies did you use to help in the delay of gratification?
- How can delaying gratification (having self-control) lead to greater success in academics, sports, or careers?
- How might this test be more difficult if you could not rely on the person who was in control of providing the second reward?
About the test:
The original “marshmallow test” was conducted by Stanford psychology professor Walter Mischel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The test was meant to measure which children could delay gratification. Follow-up studies showed that children who could postpone eating a marshmallow at age 4 had better life outcomes than their peers in terms of SAT scores, levels of academic achievement, and health.