Stanford University

In the Decade of the sixties, the Austrian who lives in United States, Walter Mischel carried out from Stanford University a famous longitudinal study with preschool children four years of age, who raised a simple dilemma: should I leave now and will come back within twenty minutes. If you want to, you can eat this treat, but if you wait for me again, I’ll give you two. Then left them by themselves with candies, and faced with the difficult task of having to decide. Indeed, some guys (one third), endured not one minute and ate candy once W.Mischel was leaving the room; However other (two-thirds of the children), preferred to wait to get a better reward: two goodies. Something drew attention to the team of experimenters, and was the way in which children who endured the twenty minutes, sobrellevaron the wait: some turned to not having to see the treat, some opted to sing or play to be distracted, and there were even those who tried to go to sleep. All strategies that they wanted to avoid being continually confronted with the hard dilemma which had exposed them.

Mischel, he waited fourteen years, followed those same guys who already were around twenty, and discovered that children who had been able to wait without eating candy, to which he returned and thus have two, were now young people who better controlled his emotions, more sociable, determined and constant; entrepreneurs and more successful academically. However, the impulsive that they could not wait, and it had eaten his candy until he returned, were then less bright young people with tendency to demoralize face any difficulty, with a low self-esteem and low frustration thresholds. For those children, which proposed them Mischel turned out to be a challenge in all rule, which generated them an intense internal debate: the impulse to eat one tempting sweets, against the desire to contain in order to enjoy in the future (20 minutes) two goodies.