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Flashcards in EC Marshmallow Experiment Deck (26):

Carolyn Weisz

girl tested with marshmallow experiment
able to resist eating for 15 min
undergraduate at Stanford, PHD at Princeton, professor at Univ. Puget Sound


Craig Weisz

less patient
year older than Carolyn
broke toys
does all sorts of things in entertainment industry, mostly production


children's reactions?

most struggled to resist treat, held out for less than 3 min
a few ate marshmallow right away
some stare at marshmallow and ring bell 30 sec later
30% waited


options for the marshmallow test

1. eat marshmallow right away, don't get 2nd one
2. ring bell, then eat marshmallow, don't get 2nd one
3. wait 15 min and not eat, then get 2nd marshmallow


initial goal of experiment

identify mental processes that allowed some people to delay gratification, while others just surrendered


Walter Mischel

professor of psych at Stanford
in charge of marshmallow experiment
noted link btwn ability to resist and school work
fascinated w/ Rorschach test at NYU "like a mental X-ray machine"
hired as consultant for Peace Corps volunteer personality testing


children that couldn't resist:

less able to cope w/ stressful situations, lower SAT scores, behavior problems at home and school, trouble paying attention, struggled to keep friendships
higher BMI, did drugs (Ayduk)


children that waited:

higher SAT scores by 210 pts


Ozlem Ayduk

assistant professor at Univ. Berekely for psych


intelligence is determined by:



personality can't be separated from:



Mishel's aggression experiment

children responses depend on interaction (eg. cooperate w/ teacher, aggressive w/ peers)
aggression = if-then statement --> if certain child teased by peer, then would become aggressive


Mishel's spirit possession test

studied "spirit possession" ceremonies of Orisha faith in Trinidad
noticed that East Indians and Africans stereotyped each other (Africans = squander $, East Indians = don't know how to have fun) --> tested children, failed to justify stereotypes


Mishel's car metaphor

described interactionism
unless mechanic can give screeching noise context, will never find it --> need to look at people's responses under particular conditions


key to resistance:

strategic allocation of attention
-sang songs from sesame street, covered eyes, played hide and seek to distract
desire not defeated, merely forgotten


toddler experiment

see how toddlers react to being taken away from parents
results show that resistance ability may be genetic


personality and situation are:



mental user manual

learning how to control attention and thoughts


Marc Berman and John Jonides

in charge of brain scanning original Bing experiments
decided on tasks that would ability of subjects to control contents of working memory


suppression task

4 words, 2 blue, 2 red --> told to forget blue and remember red; use probe words to ask if they were words supposed to remember
high delayers better


go/no go task

press space bar when see smile
press space bar when see frown
high delayers not press button when see smiling face


relevant brain regions

dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, right and left inferior frontal gyri
associated w/ self control, working memory, directed attention


Yuichi Shoda

followed marshmallow subjects
decide to focus on genes in dopamine pathways (believed to regulate motivation and attention)


Angela Lee Ducksworth

found that ability to delay gratification = better indicator of academic performance than IQ
intell not as important as self-control



long work day schools (7:25 AM - 5PM)
known for improved test scores
character matters for success
David Levin = founder


additional schools in the experiment

Riverdale Country School, Evergreen School for gifted children, Mastery Charter schools