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Even the Marshmallow Test falls after new research
Old 05-29-2018, 08:12 AM   #1
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Even the Marshmallow Test falls after new research

It seems that every "truth" we've been told throughout our lives falls apart after later research, especially when the researchers don't enter the experiment with the accepted expectations. Bacon and eggs are bad, then good. Statins will make you live forever, or kill you. Alcohol is bad, good, bad, good...

But the one thing I thought was real, and made sense, was that the ability to delay gratification as a kid would result in FIRE. Now even that universal constant is being questioned. Professor replicates famous marshmallow test, makes new observations

From the study -
Quote:
the relationship between a young child's ability to delay gratification and later outcomes is much weaker than previously thought. The new study discovered that while the ability to resist temptation and wait longer to eat the marshmallow (or another treat offered as a reward) did predict adolescent math and reading skills, the association was small and disappeared after the researchers controlled for characteristics of the child's family and early environment. And there was no indication that it predicted later behaviors or measures of personality.
So, I'm off to eat marshmallow and bacon sandwiches with a glass of red wine. See you later, if I survive.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:18 AM   #2
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An MD friend of mine once told me that the first lecture he ever had in med school included the following caveat: Half of everything we teach you will eventually be proven wrong. Unfortunately, we don't know which half.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:19 AM   #3
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Oh no. The marshmallow test doesn't categorize people into savers and spenders? I'm crushed. Next they'll be telling us the whole ants vs grasshoppers is also bogus. These are foundational principles.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:21 AM   #4
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This is a perfect illustration...folks should take "research" with a grain of salt. With my Dad's terminal illness, I have done a LOT of research on his disease and hospice care (outcomes, prognosis, etc.) and the conclusion that I came up with was, "well, it depends." I read a LOT research information (not the press releases or abstracts) and it became clear that many of these were conducted with a very limited number of participants or with a super-specific subset of patients, and thus not real useful. So, like most things in life...I think about these things with an eye to "common sense". If it seems fishy, it probably is.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:36 AM   #5
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Oh no...
What am I going to do with all these marshmallows
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:47 AM   #6
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It just shows that raising kids isn't for cream-puffs.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:50 AM   #7
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Here's the key: "...the association was small and disappeared after the researchers controlled for characteristics of the child's family and early environment."

This does not invalidate the marshmallow test, it merely states that the child's family and early environment influence the child's later decisions, such as save/spend. They also influence the marshmallow test.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Here's the key: "...the association was small and disappeared after the researchers controlled for characteristics of the child's family and early environment."

This does not invalidate the marshmallow test, it merely states that the child's family and early environment influence the child's later decisions, such as save/spend. They also influence the marshmallow test.
Well, that ruins the story!! Geez....stop pointing out the FACTS.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:16 AM   #9
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I encourage everyone to read this book on scientific theories that are blocking progress ď This Idea Must Die ď Edited by John Brockman.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:28 AM   #10
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I was surprised to read that the famous Stanley Milgram experiment we all heard about in school (people would shock subjects at lethal levels when told to do so by authoritative, white coated authority figures) was very misleading. Apparently we saw a limited subset of results. The effect declined with broader subsets and reversed when the white coated figures "order" the subjects to increase the voltage by saying things like "you must." In the later cases, people basically responded with a resounding "F-you."
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:57 AM   #11
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I think there was a recent study that said most studies are deeply flawed....
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
An MD friend of mine once told me that the first lecture he ever had in med school included the following caveat: Half of everything we teach you will eventually be proven wrong. Unfortunately, we don't know which half.
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Originally Posted by 4legsgood View Post
I think there was a recent study that said most studies are deeply flawed....
Sturgeon's Revelation comes to mind.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Sturgeon's Revelation comes to mind.
Sounds fishy...
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Oh no...
What am I going to do with all these marshmallows
make s'mores!
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
Here's the key: "...the association was small and disappeared after the researchers controlled for characteristics of the child's family and early environment."



This does not invalidate the marshmallow test, it merely states that the child's family and early environment influence the child's later decisions, such as save/spend. They also influence the marshmallow test.


This would imply that siblings, raised in the same environment, would have similar save/spend habits. Not true in my family. Iíve always been a saver, my older sibs spent like it was burning a hole in their pocket...to this day.

How many in this forum have siblings who are spenders?
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4legsgood View Post
I think there was a recent study that said most studies are deeply flawed....
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:54 AM   #17
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The marshmallow study never rang true for me, as someone who has always thought plain marshmallows are pretty gross, and possibly that people who like them are a little off.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:35 AM   #18
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Oh no. The marshmallow test doesn't categorize people into savers and spenders? I'm crushed. Next they'll be telling us the whole ants vs grasshoppers is also bogus. These are foundational principles.
I thought it categorized people into rich successful capitalists and lazy bazztids on welfare? That's usually how the results are applied when people tell me about it
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:56 PM   #19
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Oh no...
What am I going to do with all these marshmallows
Make it into fluff.
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocean view View Post
This would imply that siblings, raised in the same environment, would have similar save/spend habits. Not true in my family. Iíve always been a saver, my older sibs spent like it was burning a hole in their pocket...to this day.

How many in this forum have siblings who are spenders?
I have both in my birth family. I think birth cohort is very important also. My brother in his 70s and me in my 70s almost have to be held upside down and shaken to get money out of us. My 2 next sibs, born in early 50s, couldn't save a cent if they had to. But one of these two has 2 daughters born in the 80s who are very careful with money. IMO, people are generally not stupid unless stupidity has become common in their reference group, which today is often their birth cohort.

Ha
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