Members in the Media
From: Inc.

What 60 Years of Research Has Taught Us About Willpower


The marshmallow experiment shouldn’t need an introduction. In the early 1960s, a group of preschoolers at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School participated in a study that would change how psychologists think about willpower. Preschoolers were led to a room where researchers gave them a choice between one reward (a marshmallow) that they could enjoy immediately, and a larger reward (two marshmallows!) if they abstained from eating the first marshmallow for 20 minutes. Did the preschoolers hold out for double the prize?

The first thing researchers noticed was that the kids who caved focused on their internal struggle. They fought the urge, cognitive load increased, and willpower plummeted. It was a losing battle from the start. The kids who resisted got creative. Instead of fighting the urge, they stood in the corner, covered their eyes, or pretended that the marshmallow was a cloud.

Read the whole story: Inc.

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