Daily Archives: October 27, 2014

What the Marshmallow Test Really Teaches About Self-Control.


One of the most influential modern psychologists, Walter Mischel, addresses misconceptions about his study, and discusses how both adults and kids can master willpower.

The image is iconic: A little kid sits at a table, his face contorted in concentration, staring down a marshmallow. Over the last 50 years, the “Marshmallow Test” has become synonymous with temptation, willpower, and grit. Walter Mischel’s work permeates popular culture. There are “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow!” t-shirts and Sesame Street episodes where Cookie Monster learns delayed gratification so he can join the Cookie Connoisseurs Club. Investment companies have used the Marshmallow Test to encourage retirement planning. And when I mentioned to friends that I was interviewing the Marshmallow Man about his new book, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, nobody missed the reference.

It began in the early 1960s at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School, where Mischel and his graduate students gave children the choice between one reward (like a marshmallow, pretzel, or mint) they could eat immediately, and a larger reward (two marshmallows) for which they would have to wait alone, for up to 20 minutes. Years later, Mischel and his team followed up with the Bing preschoolers and found that children who had waited for the second marshmallow generally fared better in life. For example, studies showed that a child’s ability to delay eating the first treat predicted higher SAT scores and a lower body mass index (BMI) 30 years after their initial Marshmallow Test. Researchers discovered that parents of “high delayers” even reported that they were more competent than “instant gratifiers”—without ever knowing whether their child had gobbled the first marshmallow.

But there’s been criticism of Mischel’s findings too—that his samples are too small or homogenous to support sweeping scientific conclusions and that the Marshmallow Test actually measures trust in authority, not what he says his grandmother called sitzfleisch, the ability to sit in a seat and reach a goal, despite obstacles. I met with Mischel in his Upper West Side home, where we discussed what the Marshmallow Test really captures, how schools can use his work to help problem students, why men like Tiger Woods and President Bill Clinton may have suffered “willpower fatigue”—and whether I should be concerned that my five-year old devoured “the marshmallow” (in his case, a small chocolate cupcake) in 30 seconds.

Jacoba Urist: I have to tell you right off, my son is in kindergarten and he flunked the Marshmallow Test last night.  

Walter Mischel: First, it’s important that I say “the test” in quotes, because it didn’t start out as a “test” but a situation where we were studying the kinds of things that kids did naturally to make self-control easier or harder for them. Four-year-olds can be brilliantly imaginative about distracting themselves, turning their toes into piano keyboards, singing little songs, exploring their nasal orifices.

Urist: The problem is, I think he has no motivation for food. In our house, dessert isn’t a big deal. Could the kids who wait for the marshmallow just not care that much about treats? Maybe their families didn’t use food as a reward system so they didn’t respond to it as a motivator?

Mischel: You have to understand, in the studies we did, the marshmallows are not the ones presented in the media and on YouTube or on the cover of my book. They were these teeny, weeny pathetic miniature marshmallows or the difference between one tiny, little pretzel stick and two little pretzel sticks, less than an inch tall. It’s really not about candy. Many of the kids would bag their little treats to say, “Look what I did and how proud mom is going to be.” The studies are about achievement situations and what influences a child to reach his or her choice. In some cases, we even used two colored poker chips versus one.  

Urist: How important is trust then? Some critics claim that a 2012 University of Rochester study calls the Marshmallow Test into question. Children in a reliable environment (where they could trust that the delayed reward would materialize) waited four times longer than children in the unreliable group. Were the kids in your test simply making a rational choice and assessing reliability? And wouldn’t that factor be outside the scope of the original Marshmallow Tests?

Mischel: This is another thing the media regularly misses. Before the marshmallow experiments, I researched trust in decision-making for adults and children. Trust is a tremendous issue. Therefore, in the Marshmallow Tests, the first thing we do is make sure the researcher is someone who is extremely familiar to the child and plays with them in the playroom before the test. It’s also important to realize, it’s not a matter of if somebody will come back with the two little marshmallows. They are all right there on the tray. It’s all out in the open, so there’s no trust issue about whether the marshmallows are real.

Urist: When it comes to correlations between the Marshmallow Test and indicators of success later in life, some people say the marshmallow tests are based on too small a sample to draw meaningful conclusions, that you originally studied over 500 children, but you only tracked down 94 of the participants’ SAT.

Read more about this interesting study!


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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in WISDOM


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Book Review – The Adventures of Pebble Beach – My friend – Best Selling Author – Barbara Berger.



Cover Pebble Beach 2


An honest, fun, full-throttle story of a newly divorced woman throwing herself back into life…without a safety net!


Attracted to the wrong men and don’t understand why? Afraid of being alone, getting older and losing your sex appeal? A little sex crazed (or a lot)? And still dreaming of a man who can save you from your life?

Chick Lit meets Self-Help in this high-spirited tale of a newly divorced, 40-something woman with two teenage sons who is trying to take control of her life, her sex-crazed body, and her new relationships with men – while struggling to build a career in advertising in the big city (plus going to quite a few therapy sessions). 

Until one day an unsavoury business scandal threatens to ruin the burgeoning career of our brave heroine…



  • A SINGLE LIFE SEEN FROM INSIDE Are you the type that is attracted to the wrong men – and do you do the most insane things to keep your relationships with them anyway? Are you terrified by the thought of being an old, wrinkled raisin that no man will ever want? And are you – once in a while – just a little hungry after sex? Yes? Well then you will really be able to identify with Pebble Beach. She is in her mid-40s, newly divorced, and mother of two teenage boys. She is struggling to make a career for herself as a copywriter. At the same time she’s trying – using all the tricks of the game – to make it as a single woman. Or in reality she’s trying to find a new man – but in fact it’s really going rather poorly on all fronts. “Single for the Second Time” is written by Barbara Berger, the woman who’s written more than 10 self-help books so among other things, the reader closely follows Pebble Beach as she goes through an intense therapy process in her search to find herself. The book makes you laugh, cry and think as well. It touches on themes like addictive relationships, low self-esteem, alcoholism and poor communication in an entertaining yet serious tone. A good and informative book for singles – and for those who don’t understand single women! ~ Bibi, Danish weekly magazine Søndag




  • I finished reading your book last night. I found this book dynamic, intense, stimulating and a real depiction of the complicated lives we all tend to create for ourselves. Pebble only took her power back after reaching a saturation point, a point where she mastered her “fear of loss”. It is astounding to read how her compulsive desire to please positioned herself in mortal danger. You succeeded extremely well with your depiction of her mental blindness and inability to identify individuals or situations that added very little or no value to her life. Most of us tend to see only what we want to see in others. This goes for everything else in life. You brilliantly displayed the horrific price Pebble paid before she woke up to her real potential. I loved how you shared her self-talk and futile attempts to make sense of the games that she became embroiled in. What I found enlightening and disturbing is that you will find a Pebble drama in every building, home or office that you observe when you look out of your window. You will without doubt discover the Pebble Beach in yourself when you turn away from the window and look in a mirror. Your subliminal ability to leave your reader with a question in his mind about his own compulsive and often obsessive behaviour in certain areas of his life gives this book longevity. It will be an idiot that reads this book and then sends it off to a second hand book shop. I recommend that we as readers take Pebble Beach off the shelf when we find ourselves struggling and straining to make sense of anything or anyone. This amazing book will then remind us once again where we allowed ourselves to get sucked in by illusions created in our futile minds that might once again return to our old and outdated software that we operated on historically. (Habitual reaction Patterns). The real value of The Adventures of Pebble Beach is that you learn and gain insight without even being aware of it. You become so embroiled by Pebble’s adventures that you fail to grasp that you are at the same time busy with a purification process while you load wisdom and insight into your sub-conscious archives.



You can read a portion of a chapter at the following link



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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in WISDOM


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The truth is that wherever you are is where you want to be. Whatever you are doing is what you want to do.




There is something so hard for people to admit that most would deny its obvious truth. The truth is too shameful.

The truth is that wherever you are is where you want to be. Whatever you are doing is what you want to do. You do not need to learn time management. You are managing your time exactly how you want to. It’s not a failure of willpower. You are exerting your will exactly as you want to.

Does your life suck? Do you suffer from some medical ailment? Are you fat? Do you have trouble meeting people? Are you in debt? Does your job suck?

If so, why haven’t you changed? It is 2014. Have you ever looked at this thing called the Internet? Have you been to a public library? Have you shopped at Amazon? Do you know about online message forums?

Pick the most obscure subject in the world and I guarantee there is a web forum devoted to it.

I had a strange skin ailment afflict me. This ailment is so rare that it’s not even diagnosed by most doctors. Yet there is a message board devoted to the subject. There are hundreds of people exchanging stories and tips. I was able to find the leading researcher on this ailment. I also learned that a trip to the Dead Sea will basically cure me. I just need to get “well enough” in order to take the trip.

If I can find out how to cure something that affects something like .0001% of the population, why are you fat and miserable? Why can’t you get laid? Why is your credit garbage?

It sure isn’t because you lack information. There are probably a dozen different dieting books that would help you lose weight. Paleo, vegetation, fruitarian, South Beach, Zone…Pick one. They will all work.

How many books are there with “personal finance” in the title? Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey’s books are cheesy but they undoubtedly work. No one who has actually followed the advice has ever said, “Total Money Makeover doesn’t work!” Buy one and follow it. That’s all it takes to become debt free.

The saddest secret in the world is that you’re miserable by choice. You don’t want to get better. You are content to wallow in your own fecal matter, like a hog.

I personally have no problem with that. It’s your life. Do your thing.

Just don’t act as if you aren’t, with each decision made day after day, singularly responsible for ruining it.

The Strangest Secret


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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in WISDOM



The wise man mastered the art of projecting himself into others’ shoes.




Assist people to achieve what they really desire if you want to make friends for life, become awfully rich or become very popular. Our expectation and hope drives us forward and helps us to overcome serious setbacks.

Attempt to make the right and best choice on a moment-to-moment basis. If you are going to wait for the perfect moment or until you have all the data, you might never make up your mind. Remember that your in-basket will still be full even on the day you die.


Attitude plays a vital role in everything you do. A poor attitude can never produce good results. A poor attitude is at the root of most failures. A poor attitude caused more marriages to fail and relationships to break down than all the other reasons put together.


Avoid head on confrontations or disputes if you can. There are usually no winners in such ego driven fights. The urge to win is sometimes so strong that it clouds our mind and judgment. An obsession by both parties to win usually lead to a major loss for at least one of the parties.

Avoid people that have the tendency to make their problem yours. By appearing helpless or lost, they con you into taking ownership of their problems. You are not a garbage truck that are contracted to remove everybody’s garbage (problems).


Avoid people that promise you the world, but do little. When you rely on an “empty promise” person, he will cause you endless problems. Good advice is to do things yourself if you want to make sure that they are taken care of.

Avoid saying things that could make people feel idiotic or inferior. It might give you a short-term ego boost, but in the long run, you will create an army of enemies that would love to even the score.


Avoid the misconception that people want to hear what is right and just. They want to be fed what they feel suits their current purpose. Give people what they want and you will be richly rewarded. When you help people to achieve their own objectives, they are usually more susceptible to yours. 

When instant gratification becomes our main objective, we rapidly slide into the abyss of failure and discomfort. The wise man mastered the art of projecting himself into others’ shoes. When you act in a fair and responsible manner you enhance your chances of success many fold.


Be careful and remain grounded when you are faced with obsessive driven individuals. These individuals tend to exaggerate and amplify things in an attempt to buy your support. Certain politicians, clergy and conmen are experts at the art of mass hypnosis. When you are in the presence of passion driven individuals you need to question, probe and take nothing for granted. If you do you will do it at your peril.





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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in WISDOM


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20 things every man wants in bed. Do you know what real men actually want in a lover?




You might think you are sexy down to a science. But do you know what real men actually want in a lover? Read on to find out.

When it comes to sex, you can get an ‘A’ for effort. Guys want to be with someone who’s actually into sex and not doing it as a favor or just going through the motions.

‘There is nothing more seductive than an enthusiastic lover,’ says Lou Paget, certified sex educator and author of The Big O: Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming.

‘That beats out the perfect body or the perfect face anytime. A man wants feedback that a woman is into doing things with him!’

New tricks
Men want a lover who is willing to try new things from time to time. That doesn’t mean you have to go all 50 Shades of Grey. Just be open to ideas.

‘Sexual desire is like an appetite,’ says Paget. ‘We all want to try different flavors — otherwise we’d get bored eating at the same place all the time. Men want someone who is willing to explore unique feelings and new sensations.’

Worried that whatever you do is suddenly going to become part of your nightly repertoire? Don’t think of it as a can of worms. Most likely the occasional change-up is all he needs.

We normally think of women as the ones who need reassurance about their appearance, but men get insecure, too. A lover who will find something to compliment and worship about her partner will never lack affection from him.

‘Every man wants to know they have that special something that turns a woman on,’ says Paget. ‘It could be something that turns her head or something like his intelligence or sense of humor that she finds incredibly sexy.’

It’s not a cliché, ladies. A man wants a woman who will tell him what to do — at least in the bedroom. Most guys will be thankful for a little instruction, especially if it means they’ll succeed at pleasuring you.

‘A woman who can guide you with sounds or one word responses is preferred as it takes away the guess work,’ says Paget. ‘Just remember to avoid acting like a sexual traffic cop!’

Men want someone who will leave the lights on and let him get a good look at her. Stop worrying about covering up any squishy parts.

‘Indirect lighting is Hollywood’s best friend and it can be yours as well,’ says Paget.

‘Need I repeat that men are visual creatures and they want to see their partner? It’s a big part of their turn-on factor.’

Sex on the brain
A woman who keeps sex in the forefront of her thoughts knows how to inject it into life outside the bedroom — and that’s sexy. Try sexting him or be extra naughty and playful in public.

‘Do it in a discreet way,’ say Paget. ‘Let your partner know that you’re thinking about sex throughout the day. Remember, your brain is your sexual power source.’

Flair for fantasy
A man craves someone who will listen to his fantasies — and tell him hers.

‘Many men are scared to share their fantasies as their partner may react by saying, ‘You have got to be kidding, that’s sick,” says Paget.

‘You don’t need to give him his exact fantasy but instead try negotiating how you’d both like to feel during the fantasy. Create your own scenario together.

Guys want someone who sometimes initiates sex but also lets him ‘be the man’.

‘It’s in a man’s DNA to be the caretaker, which also translates into the bedroom,’ says Dr. Sadie Allison, America’s Pleasure Coach and author of Ride ‘Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking,

‘So while most men love to be in charge, always being the initiator can get old. It’s hot when a woman takes control and shows him that she wants him.

“It’s actually every man’s fantasy to surrender for just a little while!’

Dirty talk
Men love hearing a play-by-play of what’s happening during sex — or what you want to happen next.

‘What men see, hear and feel are direct lines to the ‘other brain,” says Allison.

‘Dirty talk is just another fun way to arouse your man. It also turns them on psychologically because men are super attracted to women who are sexually uninhibited.’

Accepting all of him
Swallowing his love juice may seem gross to you but to a guy it means that you accept all of him — so do it!

‘Primordial programming says the come goes inside,’ says Allison. ‘Double his pleasure with the visual of oral sex and letting his man juices melt inside of you.’

A massage
What guy doesn’t want a woman who gives great massages? And not just the sexual sort, though they can be very erotic. Men want to feel good all over, just like you do.

‘Touch is a basic human desire,’ says Allison. ‘Sensual or not, it can be one of the greatest gifts a person can receive. Touching all over usually leads to something more fun anyway.’

Want him grateful and amazed?
‘A woman willing to touch and please herself in front of her man is confident in herself,’ says Allison. ‘If you feel like a sexy woman you’ll create a steamy display that any man would want to bask in.’

This is a huge turn-on for guys because it shows that you’re willing to share a very intimate act for his viewing pleasure.

You might think, why waste money on lingerie that’s just going to get crumpled up in a ball and tossed on the floor in two seconds? But men are visual and seeing the present they are about to unwrap is important to them!

‘A guy likes the ‘for his eyes only’ component of this, with the sneak peak of your body being a total turn-on,’ says Yvonne K. Fulbright, Ph.D., author of Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover.

‘Unwrapping you also boosts his ego because he knows you are like a gift, and all his.’

Necessary roughness
Men don’t always want sex to be sweet, loving or romantic. Sometimes he wants it to be a little rough and dirty — it isn’t always about the emotional connectedness between you.

‘He loves feeling desired,’ says Fulbright. ‘He also loves that somebody is helping to fuel that dirty little mind of his!’

Are you the girl who needs everything to be ‘just right’ before you can do it? Or are you willing to pull over to a roadside motel and ‘just do it’?

‘The spontaneity fuels his libido given the sense of abandon,’ says Fulbright. ‘He also likes the unknown of what could happen, and the novelty factor drives up dopamine in his brain.’

Sex drive
No one is always in the mood, but the more effort you make, the more you’ll end up wanting it.

‘He’ll be endeared that you want to please him, as this will make him feel loved and important,’ says Fulbright. ‘He’ll also be impressed that you like to occasionally take one for the team and sometimes he’ll be the one to make it all about you.’

A guy with a strong libido wants a woman who can keep up!

A home-body
Instead of planning a trip out on the town, make your bedroom the destination for a weekend — we’re talking no breaks except to order takeout!

‘He’s going to like that he can just relax and not worry about coordinating anything or traveling,’ says Fulbright. ‘He’ll also appreciate the opportunity to see your bedroom in a whole new light.’

Moves like jagger
Whether it’s a certain position or a way that you finish him off, make up a signature move that’s all about him — even name it after him! He wants to feel like he’s the only guy in your world, and this is a great way to let him know that.

‘He likes the special treatment and that it’s your own special thing and not something that you’ve shared with someone else,’ says Fulbright.

Orgasmic potential
Don’t fake it — but if he makes you feel good do let him know, and do it expressively.

‘He likes that others can possibly overhear your pleasure, which reflects well on him,’ says Fulbright. ‘He also gets off on hearing that you’re getting off!’

Contrary to what you may think, a guy’s biggest pleasure is knowing that he pleased you.




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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in WISDOM


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