If a child could wait 15 minutes before eating the marshmallow in order to potentially receive a second one, then this delayed gratification ability would reap future benefits.
However, recent research suggests delaying eating that first marshmallow has more to do with the child’s circumstances. A child, whose mother had a college degree, and was able to delay eating that first marshmallow, did no better on SAT scores than a child with a similar environment that dug in.
When the mother did not have a degree, there appeared to be no difference in SATs between the two types of children. Self-control did not overcome the social-economic disadvantages.
The researchers suggested that the child with a greater social-economic advantage might have more confidence in the adults surrounding that the future will be fine. While a child in a lower environment may simply have less confidence in the future.
This suggests more research into systemic problems with society.
This also suggests, irony of ironies, that psychological research appears to be suffering from its own replication of results crisis. The pop psychology we have internalized may not hold up in the long-run.
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