The Marshmallow Experiment


“If you learn self-control, you can master anything.”

The Marshmallow Experiment:
Unveiling the Secrets of Delayed Gratification**

We’ve all faced moments of temptation, whether that tempting slice of cake when you’re on a diet or the urge to splurge when you should be saving money. But have you ever wondered why some people seem better at resisting these temptations than others? The answer lies in the fascinating world of delayed gratification, and one iconic experiment sheds light on its incredible benefits.

woman sitting around table holding tablet

The Lesson: Building Resilience and Achieving Success

The famous “Stanford marshmallow experiment” conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the early 1970s involved young children choosing between eating one marshmallow immediately or waiting to receive two marshmallows as a reward. The results were eye-opening: some children couldn’t resist the immediate temptation, while others demonstrated impressive self-control by delaying gratification.

Years later, follow-up studies revealed that those who displayed greater self-control and delayed gratification performed better academically had higher SAT scores, and exhibited better social and emotional skills in adolescence and adulthood. In essence, they were more successful in various aspects of life.


The lesson from the marshmallow experiment is crystal clear – the ability to delay gratification is a powerful predictor of success. By resisting the impulse for immediate rewards and focusing on long-term goals, you can build resilience, overcome obstacles, and achieve greater success in academics, career, and life in general. So, the next time you’re faced with a tempting choice, remember that delaying gratification can lead to long-lasting triumphs. It’s not about denying yourself; it’s about strategically choosing when to enjoy the marshmallow of life.


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