A study performed by researchers at NYU, in conjunction with researchers from the University of California, discovered that the famous Stanford “marshmallow test” is a less accurate predictor than previously believed. The original experiment was thought to show a significant correlation between a child’s ability to resist the temptation of a marshmallow and their future achievements. The scientists at NYU found that the correlation was actually very small, and didn’t actually predict later behaviors or personality as the child grew up. Their findings show that teaching children to delay gratification won’t have much of an effect on their performance in school, and that focusing on other areas of early development will be more effective.
Researchers were able to contribute to the study using NYSERNet’s R&E network.