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> Judging a kid's ability to delay gratification by whether they eat a marshmallow or not is a ridiculous way of predicting their future achievement,

I agree. I've always hated them.

It's not surprising that the women spent some of their extra cash on unhealthy food; the study design doesn't seem to give them any leeway in spending it on stuff other than food. So assuming that they prefer to maintain the ratio of healthy to unhealthy foods that they consume, increased consumption of unhealthy food would be expected.

On debunking the marshmallow experiment, "Eigsti’s team didn’t even bother to ask for SAT data, because they didn’t expect much variation." What? Wouldn't that have been the easiest way to counter a very strong claim that there's a significant marshmallow-SAT score link? That just seems sloppy to me. SAT tests involve studying, IQ tests don't.

Actually, I suspect that the authors of the article are misrepresenting what is going on, not the people doing the study screwing up.

Either the Marshmallow test predicts high scores on SAT, which is to say it actually predicts IQ; or it predicts neither, which is to say its claims have been largely false.

Food taxes being more effect makes sense to me. Imagine we have two types of food - food we need to eat and junk food. Food we need to eat contains both healthy and unhealthy food. Junk food is unhealthy. Junk food as a category is much more price elastic, since we can eat as little or as much as we want and the only constraint is money. Healthy food, however, always has to trade off unhealthy food, so taste is much more important and it comes from a category with a fixed quantity demanded.

And btw, nearly every major claim made in Goleman's book "Emotional Intelligence", which is based partly on marshmallow test implications, was false.

3. People don't understand the point of statistics. They take a test that may be instructive about a population and then attempt to use it to describe an individual, which ultimately undermines the utility of population statistics once people game the system due to incentives.

It's not like we don't have enough time with kids to evaluate and remediate any abilities. But no. We wait until they are done and then evaluate the students with a test that actually measures the quality of their schooling.

Now that I think about it, as bad as we are at evaluating and directing kids towards their callings, we might as well use the marshmallow test. It would be an improvement.

If I understand it correctly, the marshmellow "test result" correlates with the ability to defer gratification, which correlates with self-control or self-discipline, which will indicate a greater likelihood to do well in school, and hence do well in examinations.

I know many students who succeed via self-discipline (studying hard), and a few who rely on IQ. (Winging it but being smart enough to do so.) And then there are some that are brilliant as well as diligent.

I suppose self-discipline matters because it can be taught, or instilled ... to a degree, in the sense that one can teach a child or kid good habits.

The most beautiful word in English is seldom.

Seldom is pretty nice.

I'd say cellar door doesn't sound nice unless it's said with a british accent, which would really explain why Tolkien liked it (Mordor, Gondor, -->Cellardor)

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