Cover image for The marshmallow test : mastering self-control
Title:
The marshmallow test : mastering self-control
Author:
Mischel, Walter, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Little, Brown and Company, [2014]
Physical Description:
viii, 326 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary:
Psychologist Walter Mischel, designer of the well-known Marshmallow Test, explains what self-control is and how to master it.

Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? He explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life, and changes the way you think about who we are and what we can be.
Language:
English
Contents:
Delay ability : enabling self-control. In Stanford University's Surprise Room ; How they do it ; Thinking hot and cool ; The roots of self-control ; The best-laid plans ; Idle grasshoppers and busy ants ; Is it prewired? The new genetics -- From marshmallows in pre-K to money in 401(k). The engine of success : "I think I can!" ; Your future self ; Beyond the here and now ; Protecting the hurt self : self-distancing ; Cooling painful emotions ; The psychological immune system ; When smart people act stupid ; If-Then signatures of personality ; The paralyzed will ; Will fatigue -- From lab to life. Marshmallows and public policy l Applying core strategies ; Human nature.
ISBN:
9780316230872
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Renowned psychologist Walter Mischel, designer of the famous Marshmallow Test, explains what self-control is and how to master it.

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life?

The world's leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?

In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life--from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.




Author Notes

Walter Mischel was born in Vienna, Austria on February 22, 1930. After his family fled the Nazis in 1938, they eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology at New York University and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He joined the Harvard University faculty in 1962, the Stanford University faculty in 1977, and the Columbia University faculty in 1983.

He was best known for the marshmallow test, which challenged children to wait before eating a treat. This study of delayed gratification in young children clarified the importance of self-control in human development. His book, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, was published in 2014. He died from pancreatic cancer on September 12, 2018 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In addition to his many stage and screen accomplishments, veteran actor Alda-aka Hawkeye from M*A*S*H-has often undertaken broadcast media projects exploring and advocating scientific research. So Alda is a natural fit as narrator for the new title from noted Columbia University psychologist Mischel, whose groundbreaking research into children's ability to resist marshmallows and other temptations paved the way for new approaches to delaying gratification. Alda's smooth and conversational delivery accentuates his natural likability. He delivers Mischel's behavioral terminology in a relaxed manner that renders the material approachable for a broad audience. It is worth noting that most of the content is straight-on exposition of results and analyses related to Mischel's theories, so Alda's opportunities to demonstrate his acting chops are relatively rare. One notable example is his turn as Sesame Street's beloved Cookie Monster character, who in recent years-thanks to a creative overhaul based on Mischel's school of thought-has begun to practice moderation in his on-air snacking. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

World-renowned psychologist Mischel's (Niven Professor of Humane Letters in Psychology, Columbia Univ.; coauthor, Introduction to Personality) latest work on self-control answers questions such as: Why do smart people do dumb things? Through a series of experiments (including the famed Marshmallow Test) conducted in a variety of settings, Mischel discovered that self-control can take different forms depending on the person. How can a politician have the self-discipline to make it through law school but give in to the temptation of a White House intern? According to Mischel, "self-control is an ability that can or cannot be used depending on motivation to use it." So how do we gain more of this ability, and why should we? Mischel lays out techniques such as if-then plans, self-distancing, and systematic desensitization as ways to delay gratification. Those who exhibited more self-control in the Marshmallow Test showed better quality of life later, including higher test scores, better social functioning, and lower BMI. However, Mischel warns that "a life lived with too much delay of gratification can be as sad as one without enough of it." VERDICT An excellent read on the latest developments in self-control, this title is highly recommended for those of us who struggle with discipline-i.e., everyone! [See Prepub Alert, 3/31/14.]-Jill Morningstar, Michigan State Univ. Libs., East Lansing (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 3
Part I Delay Ability: Enabling Self-Control
1 In Stanford University's Surprise Roomp. 13
2 How They Do Itp. 28
3 Thinking Hot and Coolp. 43
4 The Roots of Self-Controlp. 51
5 The Best-Laid Plansp. 61
6 Idle Grasshoppers and Busy Antsp. 70
7 Is It Prewired? The New Geneticsp. 79
Part II From Marshmallows in Pre-K to Money in 401(k)
8 The Engine of Success: "I Think I Can!"p. 101
9 Your Future Selfp. 123
10 Beyond the Here and Nowp. 131
11 Protecting the Hurt Self: Self-Distancingp. 147
12 Cooling Painful Emotionsp. 158
13 The Psychological Immune Systemp. 169
14 When Smart People Act Stupidp. 187
15 If-Then Signatures of Personalityp. 195
16 The Paralyzed Willp. 206
17 Will Fatiguep. 215
Part III From Lab to Life
18 Marshmallows and Public Policyp. 233
19 Applying Core Strategiesp. 254
20 Human Naturep. 273
Acknowledgmentsp. 281
Notesp. 283
Indexp. 317