Impulse Control and Marshmallow Test: Instant Satisfaction with Guiness?


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What does a marshmallow have to do with a Guinness beer? At first glance nothing, but symbolically both stand for two opposing poles of a phenomenon: that we can not wait, immediately and immediately want the instant gratification and thus deprive us of the anticipation of the beautiful things. As in this investigation known as the Marshmallow Test.


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Barbara Haag Fixed aspect ratio Barbara Haag is a management consultant and businesscoach.

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The Marshmallow test

The test may be funny, the underlying psycho-phenomena it is less - that has already impressively demonstrated in the 1960ER and 1970er years of the psychologist Walter Mischel.

In the preschool of Stanford University four-year-olds were given the following task: They were offered a marshmallow, which they could eat immediately. But if they were to wait a few minutes and be patient, they would get another.

Those who are tolerated are also more successful in life

The reactions were very different: some children ate the Marshmallow. Others had to distract themselves or close their eyes, so that they could control themselves.

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14 Years later, Mischel stated: The children who had accessed at that time were stubborn, impatient and jealous even as adults. On the other hand, those who mastered the experiment were stress-resistant, socially competent and reliable. In short, they were more successful in life.

Success and enjoyment take time

The Guinness stands for the opposite phenomenon, so to speak: "Good things come to those who wait" says the Guinness advertisement. Because a good Guinness supposedly takes seven minutes to be properly tapped.

And even as children we heard the saying in disbelief with the anticipation as the most beautiful joy and were very surprised. For what, if you can, could be more enjoyable than enjoying something beautiful right now? We suspected behind it (often consistent) an act of consummation of adults.

Help, instant gratification

Today we can often choose ourselves when we want to treat ourselves or reward ourselves for our services. And what do we do? Honestly, most people are still not good at being put off until later. We want everything and we want it now.

Immediate gratification is still what we strive for. Is there something wrong with that? After all, it is always suggested to us that we only have to take what we need or want. Then how can we manage to motivate ourselves for long-term projects under these conditions, when everything is always immediately available?

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  1. Competencepartner

    Instant satisfaction & impulse control - 1/2: Marshmallows & Guiness: What does a marshmallow have ... - Exciting contributionOWBJZGm1Hj # Profession # Education

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