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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Not Eating The Marshmallow Made Me A Better Gambler!

Gambling and children don't mix. 

But children and sweets, that's a different matter. 

All those temptations. 

I've always had a craving for a Curly Wurly every time Charlie & The Chocolate Factory was screened on TV. 

I'm the gambling equivalent of Augustus Gloop!!!

In fact, if Lucky 15 betting slips were found in chocolate bars I'd live in a mansion made from cocoa beans. Like many, I've been sent up the river. Unlike me, I doubt yours was chocolate. My demise? I fell into a chocolate river, got stuck in a pipe, before a vacuum shot me to the fudge room never to be seen again. I got chatted-up by some sweet girl, oompa loompa, who looked like a female version of David Dickinsonn and had the sex appeal of Pamela Anderson. 

I died a heavenly death, betting against simpletons, gorging myself on Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight and took pleasure in watching my sultry oompa loompa suck Everlasting Gobstoppers until she was blue in the face. 

Not once did I see or taste a snozzberry.   

However, I realise in these latter years - vita post mortem - that, as a child, resisting that marshmallow could have made me a better gambler.

Even thinking about it now, I'll never look at the Naked Marshmallow Co Toasting Gift Set the same again. 

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment brings insight to why your children should wait for their sweets. 

Little terrors. 

In 1972 Walter Mischel of Stanford University run an experiment about deferred gratification (basically having your cake but not eating it).  The study was to understand when the control of deferred gratification develops in children. But what does the ability to wait for something we desire relate to in later life? 

Let's first learn a little more about the study. The children sat by a table, empty of distractions, where a marshmallow was placed in front of them. (Tempting!!!) The children were told they could eat the marshmallow but if they waited for 15 minutes, their reward would be a second marshmallow. 


Over 600 children took part in the experiment. Only a minority ate the marshmallow immediately. Of those who waited (deferred gratification) one-third waited long enough to get the second treat. 


Follow-up studies, 1988 and 1990, showed that ''pre-school children who delayed gratification longer in the self-imposed delayed paradigm, were described more than 10 years later by their parents as adolescents who were significantly more competent'' and the ability to defer gratification also correlated with higher SAT scores. 


Perhaps I should have waited a little longer for all those things I wanted as a child?