Monday, 6 August 2012

Marshmallow experiement

You're 5 years old.
You sit down in a strange room a marshmallow is placed in front of you.
You're told that you can have the whole marshmallow now.
But if you wait, you're told you can have two.
What do you do?

I'm a psychology undergraduate and as such, I'm always learning about studies which I can apply to everyday situations. The Stanford Marshmallow experiment is one of those. I'm one of those people who can't wait to taste the cookie dough. I'm scraping the cake batter from around the bowl, almost before I add the flour to the mix! Today I made macarons, well attempted. I had two trays baking and my piping bag filled, just about to pipe the next tray. And I couldn't resist! I had to get a spoon and just have a little taste. I cleaned the bowl. Then the spatula. And for quality control I had to get a spoon and try a bit more.

If I was one of those kids in the experiment I'm not sure I'd be able to resist. As much as I laugh at them now, I'd probably be doing all the things they do to distract themselves. Turning away. Moving it away. Tugging on my pigtails. Check, check and check. To be honest, I'd probably have just stuffed it in my mouth the minute the experimenter left the room. Delayed gratification is hard for me. I can see the appeal and I've know the rewards. It's just that my will power is... somewhat lacking. The reward has to be pretty darn good for me to give delayed gratification any real attempt.

For my macarons, I used this recipe from Mardi at Eat. Live. Travel. Write
If you're interesting in reading more about the Stanford Marshmallow experiment you can read about it on wikipedia or watch this video.

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