By Aimee Goldfarb, Consumer Insights
What do you get when you put a group of 5 year olds and a plate of unsupervised marshmallows into a room? A scientific experiment. Walter Mischel, a professor of psychology at Columbia, first tested this experiment in the late 70’s proving out profound results about how the human brain works today.
During the experiment Mischel gathered a group of 5-year-olds sit at a table with treats on it; if they resist eating anything for 15 minutes, they get two treats; otherwise they just get one. Notably, the kids who held out the longest for the treat went on to have higher SAT scores, earned more advanced education, coped better with stress and even had more control over their weight.
His goal was to prove that self-control was directly linked to success and that it can be taught to those who lack it. Mr. Mischel explains, “If you change how you think about it, its impact on what you feel and do changes.”
Marketers should take this opportunity to leverage and engage consumers giving them ways to help them with their self-control.