The psychology of willpower

THE MARSHMALLOW TEST: UNDERSTANDING SELF-CONTROL AND HOW TO MASTER IT

BY WALTER MISCHEL

 marshmallow test book

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later?

This is the iconic experiment that renowned psychologist, Walter Mischel, is famed for and one of the most important in the history of psychology. In his fascinating new book he uses this simple test to explain to us what self-control is and how we can master it.

Years of studying the outcomes of The Marshmallow Test has allowed him to develop proof that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life. Mischel describes how self-control not only predicts higher grades in school, better social functioning and a greater sense of self-worth but it also helps us manage stress, pursue our goals and cope with painful emotions.

I bought this book as I have very little resistance to temptations such as flapjacks and vodka whereas I can delay gratification quite easily if the consequences affect my future self financially. I wanted to know whether willpower is prewired or can it be learned?

marshmallows

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