The Famous Marshmallow Experiment

The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment conducted in 1972 was a study on delayed gratification and is regarded as one of the most successful behavioural experiments. In the experiment, a marshmallow was offered to each child. If the child could resist eating the marshmallow, he was promised two the next round. Experimenters then analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation of eating the marshmallow and whether doing so had an effect on their future success. The experimenters followed each child into adolescence and adulthood.

The results were astonishing. The kids who could resist the temptation scored higher in tests, had stronger relationships and were promoted more often. They were also generally happier as adults. How is this experiment related to being financially independent? Delay gratification by not being tempted to buy the latest gadgets. Doing so allows one to save enough money to invest. By prudent investing, one can reap the benefits in the future. Time is an investor’s best friend so delaying gratification buys time and allows compounding to take place.

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