Early Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Early Education Initiative

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On Slate: Reconsidering the Marshmallow Test

Published:  October 18, 2012

This week on Slate, I wrote about a new twist to an experiment many Early Ed Watch readers are likely familiar with: the Stanford Marshmallow experiment, a classic measure of childhood willpower in which kids who managed to sit at a table with a marshmallow in front of them and not eat it for 15 minutes were rewarded with a second marshmallow.

The new experiment suggests kids will wait longer—on average twice as long—for that second marshmallow if they have good reason to believe that it will actually come. Conversely, kids who are conditioned to suspect the marshmallow might not ever get there are likely to give up in half the time.

Read the full article, including my thoughts on the experiment’s implications for educators, here.

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