Sunday, 3 June 2018

Soft Centre?


The famed impulse control test appears distinctly unsolid on the basis of further evaluations (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jun/01/famed-impulse-control-marshmallow-test-fails-in-new-research). The test famously presented children with a marshmallow (popular toast-able sweet) with the instruction that, if they waited before grabbing it, they would receive 2! The claim was that the children who managed to wait grew up better equipped to deal with their world being more successful in education, mental health and work. The latest tests suggests that any effects, if present at all) are very short lasting and can be accounted for by socio-economic factors in the family. One shouldn't be really too surprised at this finding. Science is about testing and repeating tests on hypotheses but media focuses on things that seem newsworthy (the simpler, the better). So it is hardly remarkable that an idea that chimes with many people's preconceptions assumes 'solid' status before being fully checked with larger and different study groups.

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