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The marshmallow test.
You might know about this iconic social experiment —
there are many references to it in pop culture.
But what if I told you that what you've been told is the point of the marshmallow test
is actually completely wrong?
So, here's the basics of how it works.
You sit a kid in front of a delicious marshmallow and tell them that you're gonna leave the
room, and if they can resist the marshmallow until you come back,
they will get two marshmallows instead of one.
It's a test of delayed gratification: controlling immediate desires
in the service of long-term interest.
A small test, seen as having huge implications.
"The kids who successfully delay gratification at this age do much better later in life.
They make more money, they are happier, they have better relationships, and they're less
likely to get into trouble."
So that idea caught fire.
The marshmallow test seemed to prove that we have these static personality traits deep
inside us, and those traits determine the rest of our lives.
There is only one tiny problem with this interpretation.
"That iconic story is upside-down wrong, that your future is in a marshmallow,
because it isn't."
That's Walter Mischel, the guy who actually created the marshmallow test, and he told
me that literally the point of the original marshmallow study was to demonstrate not how
fixed but how flexible people are, how easily changed, if they simply reinterpret the way
that they frame the situation around them.
"The same little girl who can't wait for even a half minute for two little Oreo cookies
— if she tries it, and I tell her ahead of time, 'You can make believe that they're
not really there, it's just a picture in your head,' the same child waits fifteen minutes."
Though of course, that's not the moral that our culture drew.
" 'It's your destiny, your future's in a marshmallow!' And it's far from your destiny."
"People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations, to reframe
them, to reconstrue them, to even reconstrue themselves."
All that stuff in your mind — your beliefs, cultural expectations, family upbringing,
friendships — that stuff, Mischel explains, profoundly influences how you see the world.
Your brain uses it as a filter to interpret everything around you.
So when the stuff in someone's mind changes, they change.
This is why Mischel sees people as fundamentally flexible.
He tells me that is the single most important thing that he has stood for
in his whole professional life.
"What my life has been about is in showing the potential for human beings to not be the
victims of their biographies — not their biological biographies, not their social biographies
— and to show, in great detail, the many ways in which people can change
what they become and how they think."
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個人特質是固定不變的嗎,還是...你可以改變你是誰?- NPR (Is Your Personality Fixed, Or Can You Change Who You Are? | Invisibilia | NPR)

116 分類 收藏
Shin-Chung Huang 發佈於 2020 年 1 月 16 日
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