Delayed Gratification Helps With Success Though It Is Hard

In another Stanford experiment, preschool children were a part of a study that looked at testing the ability to delaying gratification. The experiment revealed some startling theories on self-discipline and willpower. For this particular experiment, researchers would include four-year-olds in a room alone with marshmallow on a plate right in front. If they wanted they could eat the marshmallows on the plate instantly but if they waited, researchers would give them two marshmallows after 15 minutes.

Nearly all children said they would rather wait but then would struggle with the lure of immediate incentive and give in. The children who managed to ward off their desires for a complete 15 minutes preferred using avoidance strategies such as covering their eyes, turning away or engaging in make-belief gameplay. From this research, psychologists concluded that while the brain knows that waiting will get greater rewards, it is very difficult for the mind to stay sane for the duration. Instant gratification is inevitable and only way to keep waiting is to use avoidance tactics. Those who can delay gratification though will have less chance of developing behavioral issues, drug addiction or getting obese as they age.

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