The Marshmallow Test Explains Why “Lazy” Millennials Are Actually Rational

The life-changing magic of empathy and zooming out

Karla Starr
5 min readJul 13, 2022

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If you’re one of the few humans who hasn’t heard about the Marshmallow Test, here goes: a researcher at Stanford, Walter Mischel, tested kids’ ability to delay gratification. In his seminal study, he left kids alone in front of a piece of candy. If they could refrain from eating it until one of the researchers returned — about 15 minutes — they’d be ultimately be rewarded with two marshmallows.

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Karla Starr

Speaker & author x2, inc. Making Numbers Count (w/ Chip Heath). Behavioral science, cultural history, numbers.