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The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it by Walter Mischel

The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it

Popular Science   The Real World   

Sue Baker's view...

The marshmallow test - eat one now or enjoy 2 later? The principles of delayed gratification, will-power and self-control are explained and having indentified these skills Walter Mischel, the originator of the famous Marshmallow Test, shows how to apply them in everything from weight-loss to saving up for your old age.

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Maximum Willpower: How to Master the New Science of Self-Control, Kelly McGonigal

Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Self-help manuals and popular psychology studies with their claims to transform our lives line bookshop shelves. The Marshmallow Test, however, boasts a recipe for transformation that actually works, and even if you don’t apply its principles you will never look at your friends, family or even yourself in quite the same light. Professor Mischel’s Marshmallow Test – choose one marshmallow now, or wait and have two – is regarded as an iconic experiment in the history of modern psychology with which he proved that our ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life. Furthermore, self-control and will power are not genetically inherited or conditioned but can be learnt, developed and applied to everyday challenges from dieting and breaking bad habits to overcoming heartbreak, identifying and attaining goals, decision making, and even managing stress.
~ Paul Roland


The Marshmallow Test Understanding Self-control and How to Master it by Walter Mischel

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 behaviour later in life? Walter Mischel's now iconic 'marshmallow test,' one of the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, proved that the ability to delay gratification is critical to living a successful and fulfilling life: self-control not only predicts higher marks in school, better social and cognitive functioning, and a greater sense of self-worth; it also helps us manage stress, pursue goals more effectively, and cope with painful emotions. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught? In his groundbreaking new book, Dr. Mischel draws on decades of compelling research and life examples to explore the nature of willpower, identifying the cognitive skills and mental mechanisms that enable it and showing how these can be 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 we think about who we are and what we can be. And since, as Mischel argues, a life with too much self-control can be as unfulfilling as one with too little, this book will also teach you when it's time to ring the bell and enjoy that marshmallow.

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Your view of human nature will change profoundly as you read this brilliant book. Daniel Kahneman, Author of 'Thinking, Fast and Slow
Mischel has written a wonderful book, engaging, enlightening, and profound.

Daniel Goleman, author of 'Emotional Intelligence' and 'Focus'

'This is an amazing, eye-opening, transformative, riveting book from one of the greatest psychologists of our time.'

Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

About the Author

Walter Mischel holds the Robert Johnston Niven chair as professor of humane letters in psychology at Columbia University. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers as well as the coauthor of Introduction to Personality, now in its eighth edition. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has won the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of APA and the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. He lives in New York.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Walter Mischel

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