In a recent post the subject of nature versus nurture came up in regards human being social animals by nature. This new version of an old study by the U. of Rochester, Nature, nurture both affect kids’ self-control shows how kids, by nature have delayed rewards or control issues.
“This study is an example of both nature and nurture playing a role,” says Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive sciences. “We know that to some extent, temperament is clearly inherited, because infants differ in their behaviors from birth. But this experiment provides robust evidence that young children’s action are also based on rational decisions about their environment.”
The experiment is fairly simple. If the kids in one group are offered a delayed reward, in this case a big tray of art supplies to use. In that first group the tester returns and apologizes for not having the promised big tray of art supplies. Those children now know that this person makes promises and does not keep them. So when they are told they can have more marshmallows if they do not eat the one on the table, they have poor impulse control. Eating the one marshmallow because hey, they let me down with the art supplies. Kids in the other group got the art supplies as promised if they did not use the one jar of markers. When they were told they would get more marshmallows to eat if they would wait and not eat the one left on the table, they were conditioned to think that the tester did keep their promises, so their impulse control was three times longer. The kids, as all two to four year olds are, are cute and their moms at seen later in the video reacting to how their child behaved.
“Being able to delay gratification—in this case to wait 15 difficult minutes to earn a second marshmallow—not only reflects a child’s capacity for self-control, it also reflects their belief about the practicality of waiting,” says Kidd.
“Delaying gratification is only the rational choice if the child believes a second marshmallow is likely to be delivered after a reasonably short delay.”
The findings provide an important reminder about the complexity of human behavior, adds coauthor Richard Aslin, professor of brain and cognitive sciences.
“This study is an example of both nature and nurture playing a role,” he says. “We know that to some extent, temperament is clearly inherited, because infants differ in their behaviors from birth. But this experiment provides robust evidence that young children’s action are also based on rational decisions about their environment.”
The research builds on a long series of marshmallow-related studies that began at Stanford University in the late 1960s. Walter Mischel and other researchers famously showed that individual differences in the ability to delay gratification on this simple task correlated strongly with success in later life.
We all probably have impulse control issues about certain things or at certain times, but clearly some adults have huge issues with such control. That ripples out into social behavior and consequences for society. Sometimes it is shown by way of greed, sometimes in the regular manipulation of others to get things or power, sometimes in substance abuse and scholastic achievement, among other behaviors.
The Allard could be called the first international car. It used mostly Detroit built 8 cylinder engines, but was manufactured in England by a company started by Sydney Allard. If I have any car buff readers you probably know how legendary the original Shelby Cobra was. Well Carrol Shelby drove an Allard before he made the Cobra. The appearance of the Cobra was no coincidence. The Allard in turn was originally inspired by Bugatti designed cars. The Allard and the Cobra built for one reason, to go fast, of 313 documented starts in major races in the 9 years between 1949 and 1957, J2’s compiled a list of 40 1st place finishes.
If your guy takes a severe pummeling on the facts, the only way to distract from that is to accuse the guy that did the pummeling of being rude. At The Vice Presidential Debate: Ryan Told 24 Myths In 40 Minutes. Maybe not the best, but my favorite one line summation of the debate was from Jamelle Bouie at The American Prospect, “This is like the Avengers, when the Hulk grabbed Loki and smashed him on the floor.”