Everything seems to come back to marshmallows in the end. You may recall the famous 1972 Stanford psychology study, conducted by Walter Mischel, in which a group of kids were presented with a plate of marshmallows and told that if they could wait and not eat them now, they’d get a better reward later. When the adults left the room, some of the kids stuffed marshmallows into their mouths with abandon, while others fought back the urge and waited it out. (Great article here about this and related studies.)
In the current economic crisis, a lot of economists have wondered if what we have going on is the marshmallow experiment writ large. A forthcoming study in the journal Psychological Science tests the hypothesis and the results suggest that, indeed, we’re living in a confectionary crisis of Stay Puft proportions.
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