In 1968 a Stamford psycologist by the name of Walter Michel tested over 600 children for something he defined as "Delayed Gratification." The tests involved asking children to select a treat (marshmallow, Oreo cookie, or pretzel) and then offering them a second treat if they could delay eating the first treat by 15 minutes. According to no less an authority than my mother, the experiment is legend in her field and showed that only about a third of the children were able to wait long enough to get the second treat. The children that were successful learned mental distraction techniques that allowed them not to think about the temptation in front of them while they waited. These children ultimately were shown to have much improved SAT scores and performed better in many other measures of success. The result obtained by our two girls are shown on the following two movie/blog entries.
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