Today’s children are better at deferred gratification.

The marshmallow test performed in California in the 1960s is one of the most famous psychological experimental studies ever done. It tested children for their ability to defer gratification, specifically by way of a marshmallow. It then correlated the better deferrers with success in later life, and vice versa. John Protzko, of the University of California, has examined the results from 30 similar experiments over the last 50 years. He has found that children generally have got better at deferring gratification over this period of time. Curiously, similar improvements have been seen in IQ test results in recent decades. It remains uncertain if there is a connection. It is clear, though, that emotion regulation has improved. Does that mean we are getting better at consciousness?

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