The Gummy Worm test

Given a choice between eating a gummy worm now — or waiting and getting two gummy worms — a little girl finds a creative way to control her appetite.

About Joanne


  1. IIRC, the experimenters in the famous Stanford “marshmallow” test in the 60’s found that the children who were able to delay gratification had a variety of creative strategies to distract themselves successfully until the examiner came back with the second marshmallow.

    This study has been re-examined in recent years, and an interesting similar experiment showed that environment made a huge difference in the child’s ability to wait:

    Obviously native impulsivity (or lack of it) is a factor, but
    so are environmental cues that provide young children with a sense of security and order. Some of the research on ADHD suggests that chaotic environments can trigger ADHD-like behaviors and inability to focus attention or develop planning and organizational skills.