Sunday, September 20, 2009

What would you do with your marshmallow?

I was twice hit with the marshmallow test reenactment this week .....first on CBS nightly news and then in the Huffington post. I remember learning about this test in one of my social behavior classes and I probably only remember it because it had something to do with marshmallows. You can find it in a second on You Tube. I am too lazy to put a link. Of course, If I had been lucky enough to be one of the kids chosen for the test, I wouldn't have wasted my time going to school or even tried to be successful. I would have been one of those kids that failed the marshmallow test.

I have a few problems with the test that I believe stem from reasons other than the fact that I would have failed it.

But first I should give a a quick background for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the test.

In 1960, a groundbreaking experiment was conducted that could tell the future of your child! In just a few short minutes you could find out if your child was going to be a success or a failure....a pinnacle of society or a hobo. So this is all you have to do. A friendly adult welcomes your child into the room and sits you in front of a marshmallow. "This is for you," she says. "Before we start , I have to do something down the hall. You can eat the marshmallow any time you like. But if you wait until I get back, I'll give you two marshmallows."

The researcher leaves the room. It's just your child, and that marshmallow.

Children will react differently to this situation. Some grab and gobble the marshmallow by the time the door closes behind the researcher (that would be me). Others seem fixated on it -- looking, smelling, touching -- but hold back from eating it. Others take steps to distract themselves -- singing, walking around, listening by the door.

So what will happen to your child?

If your child waited to win the second marshmallow, he or she will be a success.... in school, at work, in life. They will have the "habits of successful people" -- confidence, persistence, capacity to cope with frustration.

On the other hand, if your child had wolfed the marshmallow, he or she will have trouble subordinating immediate impulses to achieve long-range goals. They will be tv, video game addicts who will do anything to get the next marshmallow fix.

It is that easy to tell the future!
I couldn't wait to try this at home with my kids.
What are they going to do with their life?
I will know in just 5 short minutes.

Ansel stuck the marshmallow in his ear

Savanna drew an evil face on her marshmallow

Emmy passed with flying colors.....just stared at the marshmallow. And didn't even care about getting a second.

Me? Well, of course I already know that I am a complete failure. I might at well just eat it.

Corey was busy being successful at work when I conducted the marshmallow study. Needless to say, we all know that he would have passed. Not only would he return the marshmallow, but he would return it cleaner and better than when he received it.

If the baby twin moose that keep returning would have been involved in the study, they would have moosed down their marshmallows and everyone else's marshmallows. Actually, the joke is on us for planting marshmallows in moose habitat. Now we have to put ugly fences around our marshmallows. My opinion is that these moose would have failed the marshmallow test, but they seem pretty successful to me. (the one not in the picture is eating our raspberry bush.

Corey bought us tickets to the David Brubeck quartet concert this week. I didn’t even know the name Dave Brubeck (I would have known, if only I could have saved my marshmallow). Dave Brubeck is a legendary iconic jazz pianist and composer who is 89 and still going strong. After my good fortune of marrying a successful non-marshmallow-eater person who knows a good band when one comes to town, I now know that if Dave Brubeck was given the marshmallow test, he would leave that marshmallow in tears after just 12 simple notes, just to have it laughing 12 notes later.

This spider that has been living under our deck just waits for days and days and days for a marshmallow to come to her. When it does come, she savors it for days and days and days. Look at her beautiful, successful, persistent and confident web.

In conclusion, I think the marshmallow test is a bunch of ooey, gooey, phloey.


Anonymous said...

Brubeck was great. Listened to many of his recordings as a teenager. Glad to hear that he is still performing!

Sijbrich said...

Yeah, I think that experiment is seriously flawed. For me, a marshmallow would sit there forever, but if it was a piece of fancy chocolate? Then I would definitely be classified as an underachiever.

EJ said...

Amen to the ooey gooey phloey. If I could be anyone, I'd be you, a success.

Elisa said...

Laughing out loud, you're hilarious!

Kaerlig said...

A while ago David read about this and posted on his blog about it. It's interesting to think about but I didn't really want to try it out on the kids for reals...too scared about how fast those marshmallows would vanish and then I'd have one more thing...

I'd rather not know.

marne said...

At the beginning I imagined you meant the big marshmallows, and I was thinking I'd just eat it, because really, that's enough marshmallow for me. But the little ones? I'd definitely hold out for the second one. I think this confirms your ooey gooey conclusion.