- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Spark; 1st edition (September 23, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316230871
- ISBN-13: 978-0316230872
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 150 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control Hardcover – September 23, 2014
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"The discoveries that grew out of the marshmallow studies add up to one of the most insightful research stories in the history of psychology. Whatever it is now, your view of human nature will change profoundly as you read this brilliant book."―Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and Slow
"A fascinating book. It is such an addictive treat that I had no self-control in reading it, until I understood that I could actually improve my self-control, and from then on I was in marshmallow heaven. Stimulating, fun, clear, lively, and drawn from rigorous studies. It's not only accessible, but very convincing. Seriously, I love it."―Alan Alda, actor, writer, science communication advocate
"This is the book we've all been waiting for."―Angela Lee Duckworth, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and a 2013 MacArthur Foundation Fellow
"This is an amazing - eye-opening, transformative, riveting - book from one of the greatest psychologists of our time. Mischel delivers the powerful message that self-control can be enhanced, and shows us how!"―Carol S. Dweck, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, author of Mindset
"The Marshmallow Test, a charmingly told scientific story, makes clear the test is not just about youngsters, but is helpful to us all in the marshmallow moments we face through life. Mischel has written a wonderful book, engaging, enlightening, and profound."―Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Focus
"This marvelous book is unique, and beautifully written from beginning to end. The range that Walter Mischel covers-from creative cognitive science to neuroscience to genetics-is breathtaking. This speaks for science at its best. Bravo!"―Eric R. Kandel, MD, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, University Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University, author of The Age of Insight and In Search of Memory
"Walter Mischel is one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and The Marshmallow Test will make him one of the most influential in this century, too."―Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature.
"A fascinating story of a brilliant researcher at work and a recipe for how to change one's life."―Timothy Wilson, Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia, author of Redirect
"Expansive, eye-opening...All of the anecdotes here, not to mention the entire chapter on practical applications, provide insight into how we can maximize our willpower¿without overextending its potential....To be human is to grapple with the will: this stimulating books encourages us to make mindful decisions."―Publishers Weekly
"Mischel uses his impressive experience along with others' related research in the field to explore the nature-and nurture-of willpower. He explains simply and elegantly the complex neural and cognitive components that affect our ability to self-regulate."―Success
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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The problem I have with this book is that the conclusions do not seem convincing, the author constantly qualifies his assessments by saying of course there are cases that do not follow the norm. It also does not get to the root of self-control, it instead assumes the outcome of one test as the baseline. It similarly does not explain the basis of the hot and cool systems, but just takes for granted their fundamentality.
A positive aspect of the book is the conclusion that self control is not innate and can be effectively improved and cultivated throughout one's life. It also shows the enormous and varied ways self control affects one's life. Lastly, It is interesting because it covers a variety of psychological tests that anybody can relate to.
Even if it is not groundbreaking, it is still worth the time to read.
The second topic was self-control. Together with colleagues he did much research into the causes and consequences of self-control, in particular with regard to how children manage to delay gratification. The series of experiments which these researchers did have become know under the popular name of the Marshmallow test, hence the book title.
The book begins with a details description of the marshmallow experiments. Mischel shows how the ability of children to delay gratification and resist temptation has great implications for how their lives proceed. Children who were more able to delay gratification, on average had more successful and happier lives than children who were worse a delay gratification.
Mischel emphasizes that this willpower is not a predetermined and fixed characteristic of people but a learnable skill. He explains that through relatively easy and learnable techniques we can learn to not respond in an emotional and uncontrolled manner but in a wise and controlled manner.
In case you should wonder, Mischel did not get stuck in the '60s and '70s at all. The book proves that he remained very involved and up-to-date in current research in psychology and neuroscience.
As a 40-something man who is in need of help gaining some sense of self control, I feel like I've picked up a few nuggets of wisdom here and there about how the subject matter can be applied to who I am now, but not enough to resolve my more immediate needs.
There is a lot of great information about shaping those who are in the early stages of development, but not much to apply practically (beyond the last couple of chapters) to well-ingrained issues being addressed in those of us further along the journey.