Marshmallows often fail to get the admiration and attention of adults. We all know as kids our hot chocolates would not be the same with out them- but after the phase of making s’mores at camp fires…marshmallows disappear from our lives. Case in point: rarely do we see marshmallows after the age of twelve.
Well, the marshmallow make over has begun. At first, it was the macaron that was replacing the cupcake but now, decadent artisan marshmallows have been taking the baking world by storm, in gourmet shops, bakeries and even at-home kitchens. These marshmallows are nothing like the one’s that give you a caffeine kick. These sugar poofs come in like chocolate, coconut and White Russian and are meant to be served as a delicate dessert or as party favors at special occasions.
unfortunately I have not been able to come across one to taste one yet- but while doing my research I did come across a study that used marshmallows to determine how important self-discipline is to lifelong success.
In the early 1960s, Stamford University psychology researches started a study of preschoolers who were given a temptation test. They offered hungry 4-year-olds a marshmallow, but told them that if they could wait for the experimenter to return after running an errand, they could have two marshmallows.Those who could wait the fifteen or twenty minutes for the experimenter to return would be demonstrating the ability to delay gratification and control impulse.
In a follow-up study, Cornell researchers found that the ability to delay gratification didn’t change much over the years. The researchers tracked down 59 adults now in their 40s who had taken part in the original landmark “marshmallow” study to see how their ability to delay gratification, or not, fared with maturity. This time, the researchers asked participants to react to a series of emotional pictures, primarily happy and sad faces because marshmallows aren’t as irresistible to adults.
In a quote from article in the Orlando Sentinel, Dr. B.J. Casey, director of the Sackler Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College and lead author of the study said, “The happy face took the place of the marshmallow. The positive social cue interfered with the low delayers’ ability to suppress his or her actions.”
The findings suggested that those better at delaying gratification as children remained so as adults. Likewise, those who wanted their treats right away were more likely to seek instant gratification as adults.