Sunday, August 3, 2014

Self Control and Marshmallow Test

After looking over the self-control slides, I found the Marshmallow Test to be very interesting. This video was a great example of how individuals would prefer immediate gratification rather than delayed gratification.

In the video, the lady offered children one marshmallow. She informed them that they could either eat the first one right away, or they could wait until she got back and they could have a second. While she left the room, the children were recorded on camera to see how they reacted. While many of the children didn't eat the marshmallow, they were very close to eating it. Many of the children made motions of pretending to eat the marshmallow while others placed it on their lips without eating it. Some of the kids would even touch the marshmallow and then lick their fingers. The temptation of the marshmallow was difficult for them to overcome. The children wanted immediate gratification rather than delayed; however, they knew if they waited they would get another marshmallow.

It is interesting to see this concept on tape about the two types of gratification. Recently, I bought a new car. The shopping process was a long one and I had to ensure that I made the right choice with the best deal. This was difficult because once I heard a good deal on a car I really wanted, I wanted to say yes in that moment; however, my parents would walk out causing the dealers to make even better deals. We would then move on to the next dealer to see if they could offer a better deal. Without my parents, I probably would have fallen into the cycle of immediate gratification. Luckily, my parents prolonged the search to reach delayed gratification which was the best option in the end.

I think this is an interesting concept because I feel some people may rush into things to quickly without exploring all of their options. Individuals should be more aware of the choices they are making and why they are motivated to make those choices.


  1. Mackenzie,

    I like that you brought up your own personal experience with immediate gratification. Your story makes another interesting point. Your parents were able to delay gratification, while you struggled. This shows that with maturity and wisdom comes self control. In my post, I mentioned a study conducted where children that suffer from impulse control issues are also more inclined for drug abuse than those that do not have impulse control issues. Read the article if you can, it was very interesting.

  2. Hey Mackenzie!,

    I completely agree with you that it is definitely true no matter what age you are! I too am guilty of going with immediate gratification (getting a new camera in my case) rather than waiting and seeing if I could get something better. People definitely rush into things quickly because that is what we are as a society, we rush everything. Everything is about quickness rather than enjoyment!.