I just remembered that last night at dinner, I said, "the marshmallow test is for teaching your kid to be a fucking bootlicker" to a person with children


@rigatonimonster it's this famous study where they said to a kid, "you can have one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows later," and the kids who took the two marshmallows had higher SAT scores and better life outcomes. This is supposed to prove that being able to delay gratification is good, rather than proving that people whose life experience has given them reason to trust authority and go along to get along have an easier time succeeding

@Pixley ah. gotta love a scientific study that takes absolutely no other variables into account

@rigatonimonster there have been a bunch of attempts to replicate the study and they're all like, "uh yeah economic stress has a lot more to do with it than *~willpower~*"

@Pixley @rigatonimonster The only thing the marshmallow test confirms for me is that hungry kids do worse on tests.

@Pixley @rigatonimonster more importantly the study had found the kids who were able to delay gratification grew up to be more financial successful.... But the confound in the study was the kids were from a variety of economic backgrounds, and a higher predictor of economic status is your parent's economic status. When they re-did the study with only kids from the same socioeconomic background there were no statistically significant trends

@Pixley @rigatonimonster but this study has been used since to argue that socioeconomic disparity is justified because the people who are better off are just More Responsible ™ Since Childhood and it's like a creepy eugenics thing. Like some people are just born to win.

When really it's like, a rich kid doesn't give a shit about eating a single marshmallow they eat marshmallows all the time so it's really not a tempting treat at all. Not so for a poor kid

@Pixley @rigatonimonster

The messed up thing is that we grew up having this test done to us by teachers, parents, and adult leaders all the time in reality.

But at the time of getting the two marshmallows, we were instead told that we were out of marshmallows, but that's ok because it was character-building... worse when you saw them eating marshmallows, earlier...

Or even worser, told that we were making it up and were never promised marshmallows to begin with, and then punished for lying about it.

@Pixley @rigatonimonster This has always bothered me because two marshmallows is like nothing. It's not delayed gratification unless there's gratification. Two marshmallows is not much better than one marshmallow, certainly not enough to justify waiting five minutes at that age for an experience which is fundamentally not really any better. I've outright seen reviews of this study say as an aside "a second marshmallow--a big reward at that age," and my eyes rolled so hard they cramped up.

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