The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control

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Renowned psychologist Walter Mischel, designer of the famous Marshmallow Test, explains what self-control is and how to master it.

A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life?

The world's leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?

In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life--from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.



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About the author

Walter Mischel holds the Robert Johnston Niven chair as professor of humane letters in psychology at Columbia University. He is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers as well as the coauthor of Introduction to Personality, now in its eighth edition. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has won the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of APA and the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. He lives in New York.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Sep 23, 2014
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780316230858
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Psychology / Developmental / Child
Science / Cognitive Science
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Walter Mischel
After many "out-of-print" years, this volume has been reissued in response to an increasing demand for copies. This reflects that the fundamental questions that motivated this book thirty years ago are still being asked. But more important, the answers -- or at least their outlines -- now seem to be in sight. In 1968, this book stood as an expression of a paradigm crisis in its critique of the state of personality psychology. The last three decades have been filled with controversy and debate about the dilemmas raised here, and then with renewal and fresh discoveries. It therefore seems especially timely to revisit the pages which posed the challenges.

Mischel outlined the need to encompass the situation in the study of personality, but with a focus on the acquired meaning of stimuli and on the situation as perceived, viewing the individual as a cognitive-affective being who construes, interprets, and transforms the stimulus in a dynamic reciprocal interaction with the social world. He focused on the idiographic analysis of personality that had originally motivated the field, and the complexity, discriminative facility, and uniqueness of the individual, and sought to connect the expressions of personality to the individual's behavior -- that is, to what people do and not just what they say. Even the intrinsically contextualized "if...then..." expressions of the personality system -- its essential behavioral signatures -- were foreshadowed in this book that fired the opening salvo in a search for "a truly dynamic personality psychology."
Daniel Kahneman
Major New York Times bestseller
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

Steven D. Levitt
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.

Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.

Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:

First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.

Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.

David McRaney
Walter Mischel
After many "out-of-print" years, this volume has been reissued in response to an increasing demand for copies. This reflects that the fundamental questions that motivated this book thirty years ago are still being asked. But more important, the answers -- or at least their outlines -- now seem to be in sight. In 1968, this book stood as an expression of a paradigm crisis in its critique of the state of personality psychology. The last three decades have been filled with controversy and debate about the dilemmas raised here, and then with renewal and fresh discoveries. It therefore seems especially timely to revisit the pages which posed the challenges.

Mischel outlined the need to encompass the situation in the study of personality, but with a focus on the acquired meaning of stimuli and on the situation as perceived, viewing the individual as a cognitive-affective being who construes, interprets, and transforms the stimulus in a dynamic reciprocal interaction with the social world. He focused on the idiographic analysis of personality that had originally motivated the field, and the complexity, discriminative facility, and uniqueness of the individual, and sought to connect the expressions of personality to the individual's behavior -- that is, to what people do and not just what they say. Even the intrinsically contextualized "if...then..." expressions of the personality system -- its essential behavioral signatures -- were foreshadowed in this book that fired the opening salvo in a search for "a truly dynamic personality psychology."
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