21 February 2019

22nd February 1930 - Walter Mischel was born

On 22nd February 1930, Walter Mischel was born

Mischel is the psychologist best remembered for the Marshmallow Experiment.

Imagine you are a four year old and have been shown into a room. You love marshmallows and are presented with a marshmallow. The adult tells you that you can eat the marshmallow and ring the bell at any time, or wait until the adult returns and then get two marshmallows. Do you eat the marshmallow, or try to control yourself and get the two marshmallows?

The experiment was about self control, and techniques children used in self control. Apparently Mischel found that children who had learned self control and did not eat the marshmallow did statistically better at school tests, and were less likely to get overweight.

This led to the Mischel advocating teaching techniques of self control in school, particularly for children who have not had the best start in life - from disadvantaged backgrounds. He also wrote a book called 'The Marshmallow Test. Mastering Self-Control' in 2014.

In the book he talks not only about marshmallows and self control but also about mental health and about having a positive self opinion.

Thankyou to On This Day in Psychology by David Webb (an Ebook from Amazon) for the date

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