Forget Willpower: A Smarter Strategy to Resist Temptation

November 4, 2014 10:42 PM

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Forget Willpower: A Smarter Strategy to Resist Temptation

According to some very smart people, willpower is the key to success. Inevitably they cite Walter Mischel's famous marshmallow study from the 1960s. In the study, young children were given a choice -- they could either eat one marshmallow now or wait 15 minutes and get two marshmallows. Some gobbled up the marshmallow as soon as it was put in front of them but most did their best to resist temptation so they could have two.

The follow-up study 40 years later dramatically changed the conversation about what it takes to succeed in life. Published in Psychological Science, the researchers revealed eye-opening data about the adult lives of the marshmallow-munching kids. Those who were able to delay gratification and wait 1...

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