In the 1960’s an experiment was conducted regarding impulse control ie the ability to wait, even when you didn’t want to.
It was conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel, and involved sitting a 4 year old at a table in a room. On the table was a plate with one marshmellow on it. The Researcher told the child that she had to leave the room, and that the child could eat the marshmellow whenever they wanted, but if they waited till she (the Researcher) returned then they could have two marshmellows. For most children, marshmellow are a very appealing treat. The Researcher then left the room for 15 mins – an incredibly long time for a 4 year old to wait! The children’s responses to the ‘task’ were videoed.
If you watch the video on Youtube, you will see are the many ways the children try to not eat the marshmellow now, as they really want the second one. Read more