Delay of gratification in children.

  title={Delay of gratification in children.},
  author={Walter Mischel and Yuichi Shoda and Maurice Iffl{\"a}nder Rodriguez},
  volume={244 4907},
To function effectively, individuals must voluntarily postpone immediate gratification and persist in goal-directed behavior for the sake of later outcomes. The present research program analyzed the nature of this type of future-oriented self-control and the psychological processes that underlie it. Enduring individual differences in self-control were found as early as the preschool years. Those 4-year-old children who delayed gratification longer in certain laboratory situations developed into… 

Self-Control in School-Age Children

Conflicts between immediately rewarding activities and more enduringly valued goals abound in the lives of school-age children. Such conflicts call upon children to exercise self-control, a

Delay of gratification in middle childhood: Extending the utility and sensitivity of the standard task

This study was successful in extending the usefulness of the standard delay of gratification task to age 7, and correlated significantly with other executive functioning tasks, demonstrating the convergent validity of the task.

Children Delay Gratification for Cooperative Ends

A modified version of the famous marshmallow test was presented, in which children’s outcomes were interdependently linked such that the children were rewarded only if both members of the pair delayed gratification.

Parental Contributions to the Delay of Gratification in Preschool-aged Children

Delay of gratification in young children has been linked to long-term behavioral and academic outcomes. This study explored parent behavior during a laboratory paradigm as possible associates of

The Impact of Self-Regulation on Preschool Mathematical Achievement

The present studies aimed at investigating whether children’s risk for self-regulatory failure implicates poor academic outcomes even before the start of formal instruction. Therefore, we analyzed

Delay of Gratification: Explorations of How and Why Children Wait and Its Linkages to Outcomes Over the Life Course.

  • P. K. Peake
  • Psychology
    Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation
  • 2017
Findings suggest that children’s ability to wait as preschoolers derives in large part from deliberate strategies deployed by children to deal with the challenge they face, and connects between lifelong patterns of self-control and neural processing related to both cognitive control and the efficiency of working memory.

Predicting Cognitive Control From Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood

The overall findings suggest that preschoolers' ability to effectively direct their attention away from tempting aspects of the rewards in a delay-of-gratification task may be a developmental precursor for the ability to perform inhibitory tasks such as the go/no-go task years later.

Delay of Gratification 2

17 Children’s ability to delay gratification is correlated with a range of positive outcomes in adulthood, showing 18 the potential impact of helping young children increase their competence in this



The nature of adolescent competencies predicted by preschool delay of gratification.

Children who were able to wait longer at age 4 or 5 became adolescents whose parents rated them as more academically and socially competent, verbally fluent, rational, attentive, planful, and able to deal well with frustration and stress.

Attention in delay of gratification.

The role of altcntional processes in voluntary delay of reward was explored by manipulating children's attention to the rewards for which they were waiting in a delay-of-gratification paradigm, and voluntary waiting time was substantially increased when subjects could not attend to rewards during the waiting period.

Cognitive person variables in the delay of gratification of older children at risk.

The components of self-regulation were analyzed, extending the self-imposed delay of gratification paradigm to older children with social adjustment problems and found that children who spent a higher proportion of the time distracting themselves from the tempting elements of the delay situation were able to delay longer.

Delay of gratification: Some longitudinal personality correlates.

Two brief laboratory tasks measuring delay of gratification in different ways were administered to 116 four-year-old children. Personality data were available on these children separately at ages 3,

Cognitive and attentional mechanisms in delay of gratification.

Attentional and cognitive mechanisms which enhanced the salience of the rewards shortened the length of voluntary delay, while distractions from the rewards, overtly or cogmtively, facilitated delay.

Delay of gratification, need for achievement, and acquiescence in another culture.

  • W. Mischel
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of abnormal and social psychology
  • 1961

Processes in Delay of Gratification

The Development of Children’s Knowledge of Self-Control Strategies

The study of “metacognition” has become vigorous in recent years, with extensive research exploring the development of children’s knowledge of effective strategies in attention, comprehension, and

Modification of self-imposed delay of reward through exposure to live and symbolic models.

Both live and symbolic models produced substantial modifications in delay-of-reward behavior within the immediate social-influence setting, but the changes induced in high-delay children through exposure to symbolic models were less stable over time.


Yielding to temptation, in a situation in which attainment of achievement rewards is contingent upon deviant (cheating) behavior, was conceptualized to be a function of (a) the strength of the