How children’s self-control changed in 50 years

Summary of the Article: How children's self-control has altered in the last 50 years

The following is a summary of the article How children's self-control has altered in the last 50 years, which was published on September 22, 2017 in The Washington Post.

The Marshmallow Test

The marshmallow test is used in the article to determine how children’s self-control has changed over time. According to Ingraham (3), the ability to defer gratification is linked to desirable outcomes such as higher grades, a lower body mass index, and improved behavior.

John Protzko's Research

The article mentions John Protzko’s research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, which sought to determine if children’s performance on the marshmallow test improved or deteriorated with time (Ingraham, 5). The researcher gathered and analyzed results from 30 marshmallow tests done between 1968 and 2017.

Improvement in Performance

Protzko developed a graph on the time each kid was able to delay eating the marshmallow. The results show better performance by kids on the marshmallow test with time. The results differ from the pessimistic view by over half of 260 cognitive development experts interviewed by the researcher. The experts believed children have become worse in delaying gratification.

Positive Impact

The test results concur with improvements in IQ scores and better performance in substance use, seatbelt use, and sexual behavior compared to children from the past. The article concludes that children are better today and that instant gratification in modern culture has not curtailed the improvement.

Work Cited

Ingraham, Christopher. How children’s self-control has changed in the past 50 years. The Washington Post, September 22, 2017, now/?utm_term=.877f9938ba66 . Accessed October 14, 2017.

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