Congratulations, you will probably not pass the Marshmallow Test if you can’t stand and see a big piece of cake if you say I don’t eat dessert. This experiment, also known as the “enjoyment test”, is a very simple experiment with children, but besides being simple, it gives many forward-looking results. This experiment is also a good example for designing an experiment. Of course, not college level psychology experiments. Or not science experiments for high school. Totally natural experiment.
Here’s the whole point: Eating or not eating candy
Marshmallow Test, one of the famous experiments of child psychology, was first performed at Stanford University in 1960. In the experiment, children between the ages of 3-5 are sitting at a table alone and 1 marshmallow is placed in front of them.
The researcher tells the boy that if he doesn’t eat that candy for 15 minutes, he’ll give him a second nap, and he leaves the room. In the test, it was concluded that the children who could postpone the pleasure had more willing, self-control and self-control mechanism developed while measuring whether the children could postpone the pleasure.
When these children reached the age of 15, their academic achievements and cognitive capacities were claimed to be higher than their peers, and a statistical link was found between the lack of eating confectionery and academic achievement at a young age. Baby and child dev. how important it turned out. Attachment in children were very closely observed.
This experiment has reached a very important position in parenting with the field of education over time. Partially with the effect of this experiment, many trainings were organized on the development of self-control skills and auto-control in axes such as child development, pedagogy in education, parenting education. Culturally responsive pedagogy was at the forefront of them. Teaching pedagogy shows that culturally relevant pedagogy is extremely important.
Nowadays, it is aimed to provide basic skills to children aged 3-7 who go to school in many developed countries and social-emotional development is very important.
Based on the results of the experiment, the message “Strengthen the will of the children to improve in the future, improve their auto controls” has become the basic recommendation especially in middle- and upper-class families.
Experiment was repeated with the new generation
The experiment, which made such a sound, was repeated in New York University with 1000 children in recent years. This time, the results were that willpower and academic success were not very relevant. Children who did not show willpower and eat sweets were not seen as academic or cognitive capacity when they were 15 years old.
In other words, delaying pleasure and self-control were not the same in every phase of our lives, it could vary depending on the situation and life. It was found that the real intelligence of the child is related to the education level of the mother rather than auto-control.
It is important for your child to develop their willpower and self-control skills, but we cannot say that it greatly affects their future success. Instead of organizing the child’s environment and improving yourself as a parent, you will do your child a much better favor.
Different countries, different results
The Marshmallow Experiment, previously conducted in Western countries, was repeated with 4-year-old children in a village in Cameroon. And new figures were reached to statistically upset the test results of Western children.
In the test done there, 4 marshmallows are placed in front of a child and it is said that if the child does not eat the candies for 20 minutes, he can get another confectionery award. Then the researcher leaves the room.
It was observed that the will rate for postponing pleasure was 30% in German children, while the results were 70% in Cameroonian children. In addition to self-control, of course, socio-economic factors and the availability of confectionery within the country were also effective in these results.
About the experiment, you can watch the cute state of the children and the inability to keep themselves confectionery in the following videos: