All posts tagged: marshmallow test

The Causes of Poverty (78): High Discount Rates and Lack of Delayed Gratification

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causes of poverty / economics / poverty

(source) You talk to conservatives about the reasons why poor people are poor, and chances are that the discussion turns to lack of self-control, high discount rates and inability to delay gratification. “High discount rates” means that things in the present or near future are viewed as having a higher payoff than things in the distant future. If you have a high discount rate, you focus on immediate gratification. This in turn shows up in low […]

The Causes of Poverty (71): Poverty of Willpower and of Self-Control, Revisited

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causes of poverty / economics / poverty

(source) Almost as old as the problem of poverty itself is the story that poverty is caused by insufficient self-control and willpower. Never mind that things may just as well be the other way around: poverty drains the will. And never mind that the most famous study cited by proponents of the willpower story is apparently misleading: For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: […]