Walter Mischel

September 25, 2014 - Walter Mischel 09/25/2014 Views: 25,804

"The Marshmallow Test" author Walter Mischel explains the relationship between delayed gratification and a person's overall success in life. (5:36)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS APSYCHOLOGIST WHOSE NEW BOOK SAYS

DELAYED GRATIFICATIONLEADS TO MORE SUCCESS IN LIFE.

SO IF YOU REALLY WANT TO GOPLACES, YOU'LL WAIT FOR

THE PAPERBACK.

PLEASE WELCOME WALTERMISCHEL!

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING

HERE.

IS IT DR. MISCHEL?

>> WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

>> OH, NO, WHATEVER YOU LIKE.

>> MY NAME IS WALTER.

>> Stephen: IT'S JUST WALTER.

WALTER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FORBEING HERE.

YOU HOLD THE ROBERT JOHNSONNIVEN CHAIR AS PROFESSOR OF

PSYCHOLOGY AT COLUMBIAUNIVERSITY.

YOU'RE AN EGG HEAD IN MORETHAN ONE WAY.

YOU'VE BEEN ELECTED TO THENATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES,

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS ANDSCIENCES WON THE CONTRIBUTION

AWARD BY THE AMERICANPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION.

AND YOUR BOOK IS, "THEMARSHMALLOW TEST-- MASTERING

SELF-CONTROL."

THIS TITLE HAS SO MANY THINGS ILIKE "MYSELF, CONTROL, AND

MARSHMALLOWS."

EXPLAIN TO THE PEOPLE OUT THEREMARSHMALLOW TEST.

WHEN DID YOU HOLD THESE TESTS?

>> MOST OF THE WORK WAS BEGUN INTHE MIDDLE 60s, 1960s.

AND THEN IT CONTINUED ANDCONTINUED AND CONTINUED, AND

IT'S STILL ONGOING NOW.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT'S THETEST?

>> THE TEST ACTUALLY-- YOU'VEGOT SOME-- YOU WANT-- AND I --

>> Stephen: I'LL GO WITHMINE.

I'LL GO WITH MINE.

THESE ARE PINK.

>> THEY'RE PINK FROM PARIS.

>> Stephen: OR PARIS.

LET'S DO THE PARIS PINK ONES.

WE HAVE THREE MASH MALOZE HERE.

HOW DOES THE TEST WORK.

>> IT WORKS LIKE THIS.

IF I'M THE CHILD -->> Stephen: I'LL THE THE

CHILD.

>> YOU'RE THE CHILD.

TWO HERE, ONE HERE.

NOW, THERE'S ALSO A BELL OVERHERE THAT YOU CAN RING.

>> Stephen: I RING IT OR YOURING IT?

>> YOU RING IT.

>> Stephen: DING.

>> I COME RIGHT BACK INTO THEROOM.

RING IT AGAIN.

>> Stephen: DING.

>> I COME BACK INTO THE ROOM.

NOW YOU CAN BELIEVE I'LL REALLYCOME BACK INTO THE ROOM.

>> Stephen: I UNDERSTAND.

>> YOU CAN HAVE THIS ONE ANDTIME YOU WANT.

OKAY?

( LAUGHTER )( APPLAUSE )

>> YOU'RE DONE.

>> Stephen: DIWIN?

DID I WIN.

>> YOU GOT YOUR ONE.

BUT THAT'S IT.

BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GETTHOSE TWO.

( LAUGHTER )( APPLAUSE )

( CHEERS )>> Stephen: ANOTHER SO MY

UNDERSTANDING IS, MYUNDERSTANDING IS YOU THINK THAT

ONE WHO DOESN'T EAT THEMARSHMALLOW FIRST, YOU FOUND

WERE MORE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE?

>> THE LONGER KIDS WAITED TO GETTHE TWO, THE LONGER THEY WAITED,

ON THE WHOLE, GENERALLY, THEMORE SUCCESSFUL THEIR LIVES

TURNED OUT TO BE IF THEY WERECONSISTENT IN HOW THEY CONTINUED

IN SELF-CONTROL OVER THE LIFECOURSE.

>> Stephen: SO DELAYEDGRATIFICATION, SAYING WAIT AND

YOU'LL GET TWO, IN WHAT OTHERPLACE, OTHER THAN EATING

MARSHMALLOWS, DOES THAT COME INHANDY.

>> IT COMES IN HANDY, FOREXAMPLE, IF YOU HAVE TO START

DELAYING GRATIFICATION BECAUSEYOU CAN'T EAT THE MARSHMALLOWS,

BECAUSE YOU'RE IN A CLASSROOM,AND YOU'RE TRYING TO CONCENTRATE

ON WHAT THE TEACHER IS SAYING.

SO WHAT WE FOUND IS THAT OVERTHE YEARS, TO OUR SURPRISE-- I

MEAN, WE WEREN'T PREDICTING IT--THAT LENGTH OF TIME KIDS WAIT IS

RELATED, FOR EXAMPLE, TO WHATTHEIR BODY WEIGHT IS, WHAT THEIR

BODY WEIGHT INDEX IS, THEIR BODYMASS INDEX IS BY THE TIME

THEY'RE 32.

IT'S RELATED HOW WELL THEYPURSUE THEIR GOALS, HOW

EFFECTIVE THEY ARE AT WORK.

IT'S RELATED TO ALL KIND OFTHINGS, INCLUDING S.A.T. SCORES,

WHEN THEY'RE ADOLESCENT.

>> Stephen: DO WE EVEN NEEDTHE S.A.T.s ANYMORE IF WE HAVE

THE MARSHMALLOW TESTS.

WE GET ALL THE KIDS IN THE ROOM,THE KID WHO WAITS FOR THE TWO

MARSHMALLOWS, RIGHT TO THE IVYLEAGUE.

>> THERE ARE A FEW STEPS INBETWEEN.

BUT THERE'S NO QUESTION THATBEING ABLE TO DO WHAT YOU DIDN'T

DO--( LAUGHTER )

IS-- IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BEVERY, VERY USEFUL FOR YOU

BECAUSE WHAT IT'S SAYING TO USIS THAT YOU ACTUALLY WERE ABLE

TO KEEP A GOAL IN MIND-- I WANTTHE TWO-- YOU WERE ABLE TO

INHIBIT INTERFERING RESPONSESLIKE SHOVING IT RIGHT IN YOUR

MOUTH.

( LAUGHTER ).

>> Stephen: SO GOOD, THOUGH,THEY'RE DELICIOUS.

>> YOU KNOW, THEY'RE VERYSPECIAL.

>> Stephen: YEAH, YEAH.

>> AND YOU'RE ABLE TO USE YOURATTENTION, WHICH YOU DIDN'T DO--

( LAUGHTER )IN A WAY THAT LETS YOU ACTUALLY

NOT GOBBLE THE MARSHMALLOW ANDKEEP ON GOING.

THAT'S A VERY FUNDAMENTAL SKILL.

IT NOW HAS A FANCY NAME.

IT'S CALLED EXECUTIVE CONTROL.

>> Stephen: THESE ARE VERYGOOD MARSHMALLOWS.

>> THEY'RE VERY SPECIAL.

>> Stephen: WERE THEY THISGOOD BACK IN THE 60s, BECAUSE

I KNOW MARSHMALLOWTECHNOLOGIES-- EVERY 18 MONTHS

THE STORAGE CAPACITY OF AMARSHMALLOW DOUBLES.

I BELIEVE IT'S CALLED S'MORESLAW.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

DO YOU NOT WANT ONE?

>> NO, I DON'T YOU.

>> Stephen: DON'T WANT ONE?

>> I ACTUALLY DON'T LIKE THETHINGS.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: WALTER, WALTERMISCHEL, THE MARSHMALLOW TEST.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.