- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (September 23, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1469249081
- ISBN-13: 978-1469249087
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 150 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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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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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.