Would You Eat The Marshmallow?


There is a resounding truth to the cliché “easier said than done,” whether it relates to losing weight, managing a budget, or beating the market.  Most laypersons and professionals understand the actions needed to achieve these goals (consume fewer calories than one burns; spend less money than one generates; buy assets below intrinsic value), but find it exceedingly difficult to master the psychological aspects often required to advance on the path of progress.

To this point, The New Yorker published an interesting article by Jonah Lehrer titled The Secret of Self Control, which highlights a study conducted at Stanford University about children’s ability to exercise self-control.   The study concluded that approximately 30% of participants demonstrated an ability to delay immediate gratification.  The others couldn’t quite control themselves, some even displayed binge behavior and deliberate rule-breaking.

It’s likely the results mirror our own adult self-control abilities, from corporate CEOs perpetuating moral hazards to suburban neighbors “keeping up with the Joneses”…which is a nice prelude to our next blog 

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