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What do Marshmallows and Public Policy have in Common?

In the article “Marshmallows and Public Policy,” David Brooks argues that developing delayed gratification from a young age leads to “better adult outcomes” and should therefore be considered by policy makers for upcoming policies. To validate this claim he references Walter Mischel’s experiment in which 4-year-olds’ were given the option of eating one marshmallow or waiting (demonstrating self-control) and receiving two marshmallows. The children who waited the longest were found, on average, to be more successful later in life. With the importance of delayed gratification being proven by Mischel, Brooks comes to the conclusion that if policy makers put a greater emphasis on developing...