He was exploring the idea of delayed gratification among school children. Basically he found that in long-term follow ups the children who could exercise self-control and delay eating the marshmallows did better in life.
Now researchers at the University of Warwick have carried out similar experiments with children at 20 months of age using raisins. The toddlers were told they had to wait a minute before they could eat a raisin.
Almost a quarter were able to resist the urge to eat the raisin. Six years later, at age 8, these were the children found to have done best at school.
Note to parents: if you want to help your kids develop emotional intelligence don’t give in to their demands too easily.
Story in the Times, research published in the Journal of Paediatrics