Can We Trust the Marshmallow Test?

Yet, for all its intuitive appeal, this story rests on what I think is a false dichotomy between foresight and impulsivity. The fact that people can use their foresight to prioritise the present reveals that many behaviours that seem like failures of willpower are not caused by a disinclination to plan ahead at all. Rather, many supposedly ‘impulsive’ behaviours actually arise from our capacity for long-term thinking. This calls for a rewrite of the conventional story of self-control.

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