More on the Marshmallow Test

Marshmallows aren’t just for camp fires anymore. (Or should I say any ‘smore?)

This past weekend’s Wall Street Journal reviews “The Marshmallow Test” by psychologist Walter Mischel, creator of the ingenious experiment to see if you could predict how well young kids would do as adults based on their ability to delay gratification. In this case, the object of desire was a marshmallow. I talked about the experiment in an earlier post by way of considering how financial advisors should consider various opportunities, some with more immediate payoffs than others.

I thought readers might enjoy learning more about Mischel. The review (a rave) gives some biographical material and fills in the details on the experiment. It seems Mischel had a few of his own bugaboos.

This fast-paced and engaging work is part memoir (Mr. Mischel recounts how he quit his three-pack-a-day smoking habit), part science book (the extensive research on self-control is artfully summarized) and part self-help tome (a chapter provides tips for increasing your willpower).

Wall Street Journal: ‘The Marshmallow Test’ by Walter Mischel

Intrigued? You can buy the book from Amazon here. (I don’t get any royalties, so go ahead, get it from the library.)


About Mark Elzweig

I am an executive search recruiter with an inside track on financial advisors, the asset management industry, and Wall Street. My work has appeared in numerous publications including On Wall Street,AdvisorOne, and Fund Fire. Journalists regularly seek me out, so you catch my bon mots in The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine, Reuters, and more. You can follow me on Twitter @elzweig or you can reach me directly at 212-685-7070 or
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