The Marshmallow Experiment - Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-02 14:59:05
652 words
3 pages
6 min to read
Sewanee University of the South
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One of the profound studies done by Walter Mischel is "The Marshmallow Experiment." There is a concrete reason as to why I chose this research. For instance, it seeks to comprehend about the attitude and the perspective of people when a thick line of demarcation separates them. Additionally, one can understand the overlying power of delayed gratification which is defined as the ability to get what you ought to get from young children. The participants were young children in a nursery school (Gadaire, 2014). In this case, it seems that Mischel had understood that children in such a school could be the best since they had socialized with different people.

Children's behavior at some point is critical to understand especially when it appertains to appetite. As the study shows, some children are too shy, but others are not- some covered their eyes whereas others continued eating. This phenomenon depicts that age is a determinant factor in delayed gratification. The conditions given in this experiment are at the disposal of the members. To some, the instructions are bothering and tedious; therefore, it becomes hard to follow the instructions.

The procedure is both simple and complex for the young children; the use of food such as cakes and the sweets made the children wait for more rewards. Considering what children like, the substance presented to them was more interesting and attracting too. The significant aspect of this experiment is that it has a significant impact on other further studies to be taken. These studies include The brain imaging study done in the year 2006 which involved Stanford participants. In addition, another study in the year 2012 took place at the University of Rochester. "The Marshall Research," therefore, can be said to be successful in determining delayed gratification.

Part 2

The hypothesis of the study indicates that children at a tender age vary in their abilities to inhabit an impulse and regulate their emotions and attention. Consequently, one can attain the desired reward which requires patience. The sample used was inadequate because it delayed; almost one-third deferred the gratification and had a relatively low sample. The sample can be concluded to be low because the finding cannot be used in scientific research to determine trust under authority. For research to be considered as satisfactory, it ought to have variables. The independent variable in the study was the young children between the ages of three to seven and fourteen to fifteen. The dependent variables were how long it would take for the children to respond to the reward.

The design used in this research perhaps was unique; in this case, the instructions were listed and repeated for the kids to understand them. Besides, the paradigm assessed the children's gratification which is self-imposed, commonly known as colloquial. The design was preferable considering the present time; assessing it by its merits in the 21st century; it is a standard measure of delayed gratification. However, the research was associated with several problems which are a common phenomenon for any study. One of the problems was the withdrawal of the participants while the study is going on and lack of co-operation and adherence to rules. Finally, the finding was that both the bell ringer and the rule breakers were few at the age of fifteen. In the second study, the young kid's compliance was delayed in a certain period and was a hazard.

The study prompted some concerns about individual values such as obedience. On the same note, the discipline of pupils has been a great distress in many learning institutions. As a result of this study, a platform for understanding delayed gratification is developed. Consequently, it has led to other studies that enable the scholar to understand the behavior based on this research.


Gadaire, D. M. (2014). The effects of presenting delays before and after task completion on self-control responding in children with behavior disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 47(1), doi:10.1002/jaba.104, 192-7.


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