To Predict Success in Children, Look Beyond Willpower

A four-year-old girl sits at a table in a featureless room. A friendly researcher places a marshmallow in front of her and tells her that if she can resist eating it for 15 minutes, he will be back with another one and she can then eat both. He leaves, and what she does next will predict her success and mental health for the rest of her life. Such is the power of the now classic marshmallow study, long thought to be a measure of self-control.


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