I recently heard about a study that seems to confirm the importance of self control. Australian researchers offered a children a marshmallow, telling them they could eat it immediately or wait a few minutes. If they waited, they’d get a second marshmallow.
The researchers then left the room and observed the children’s behavior on camera.
As would be expected, some just ate the marshmallow. Some tried to wait, but couldn’t resist long enough. Some put the marshmallow aside and diverted their attention to other things until the researchers returned with a second marshmallow.
Years later the researchers followed up on how the kids in the experiment had done in life. They found that those who were able to excercise self control and resist eating the marshmallow immediately had been more successful in school and had more stable, happy lives.
Unsurprising, but interesting to know this kind of research supports the fundamental truth that it is important to exercise some self control.
Since self control seems so rare in our society these days, and the absence of self-control is so harmful to our society, we can only wish there were more kids out there who would wait for the second marshmallow.