Beaulieu College Newsletters


Deferred Gratification

A number of years ago, Stanford University’s Professor Walter Mischel erformed an experiment (known as the Marshmallow experiment) on children 4-6 years old. His instructions directed the children to eat one marshmallow now, but if they could wait for 15 minutes without eating any, then he would give each of them twice as many marshmallows to eat. He found that some children did eat the marshmallows almost immediately, while a few others decided to wait for a more significant reward.

The investigation didn’t finish there - researchers continued to study the development of the children into adolescents. They found that those children who were able to delay gratification were psychologically better adjusted, more dependable, more selfmotivated, and in high school scored significantly better with regards to academic performance. With the latest study conducted on these exact same participants in 2011, the research has shown that these characteristics have remained with the individuals for life. We live in a world where instant gratification is expected and if it is not forthcoming the ability to simply wait has become non-existent.

pdfRead the full 6 June 2018 Newsletter (PDF)