Stanford marshmallow experiment

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pages: 181 words: 53,257

Taming the To-Do List: How to Choose Your Best Work Every Day by Glynnis Whitwer

delayed gratification, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, Firefox, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, late fees, Mason jar, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel

Chapter 11 Strengthening Willpower [1]. “What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control,” American Psychological Association Help Center, accessed February 25, 2015, http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx. [2]. “Stanford Marshmallow Experiment,” Wikipedia, accessed February 25, 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment. [3]. B. J. Casey et al., “Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification 40 Years Later,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, no. 36 (August 9, 2011): 14998–15003, doi:10.1073/pnas.1108561108. [4]. Maria Konnikova, “The Struggles of a Psychologist Studying Self-Control,” The New Yorker, October 9, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/struggles-psychologist-studying-self-control

We live with the sadness of intentionally delaying that which is in our best interest to do now. For a procrastinator, willpower is elusive, showing up at unexpected times and being MIA when we need it most. Are some people born with more willpower? Researchers believe that some people are born with a stronger sense of willpower than others. In the famous “Marshmallow Test” conducted by Walter Mischel and Ebbe B. Ebbesen at Stanford University in 1970, researchers studied how children responded when offered a treat. The children were set in a room with a treat of some kind, often a marshmallow, and told if they waited to eat it, they could have a second treat.

Researchers then followed up with these children through the years, and the results were consistent. The children with higher willpower in the first test continued to show greater self-control through the years, resulting in higher educational achievements and better overall health. One of these follow-up studies involved tracking down fiftynine subjects of the marshmallow test.[3] As part of the research, they performed MRIs on these individuals and discovered that the prefrontal cortex (the center of our executive processing) was more active in those with greater willpower. Conversely, the MRI showed more activity in the ventral striatum (a region thought to process desires and rewards) in those with lower self-control.


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The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking by Saifedean Ammous

Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banks create money, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, central bank independence, conceptual framework, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, delayed gratification, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, global reserve currency, high net worth, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, iterative process, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, secular stagnation, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

., United States, and Euro area Figure 8 Purchasing power of gold and wholesale commodity index in England, 1560–1976 Figure 9 Price of commodities in gold and in U.S. dollars, in log scale, 1792–2016 Figure 10 Major currencies priced in gold, 1971–2017 Figure 11 Oil priced in U.S. dollars and ounces of gold, 1861–2017, as multiple of price in 1971 Figure 12 National savings rates in major economies, 1970–2016, % Figure 13 Unemployment rate in Switzerland, % Figure 14 Bitcoin supply and supply growth rate assuming blocks are issued exactly every ten minutes Figure 15 Projected Bitcoin and national currency percentage growth in supply over 25 years Figure 16 Price of Bitcoin in US dollars Figure 17 Annual transactions on the Bitcoin network Figure 18 Average U.S. dollar value of transaction fees on Bitcoin network, logarithmic scale Figure 19 Monthly 30‐day volatility for Bitcoin and the USD Index Figure 20 Global oil consumption, production, proven reserves, and ratio of reserves over annual production, 1980–2015 Figure 21 Total available global stockpiles divided by annual production Figure 22 Blockchain decision chart List of Tables Table 1 Major European Economies' Periods Under the Gold Standard Table 2 Depreciation of National Currency Against the Swiss Franc During World War I Table 3 The Ten Countries with Highest Average Annual Broad Money Supply Growth, 1960–2015 Table 4 Average Annual Percent Increase in Broad Money Supply for the Ten Largest Global Currencies Table 5 Conflict Deaths in the Last Five Centuries Table 6 Bitcoin Supply and Growth Rate Table 7 Bitcoin Supply and Growth Rate (Projected) Table 8 Annual Transactions and Average Daily Transactions Table 9 Total Annual US Dollar Value of All Bitcoin Network Transactions Table 10 Average Daily Percentage Change and Standard Deviation in the Market Price of Currencies per USD over the Period of September 1, 2011, to September 1, 2016 Index 51% attack, 242–245 aggry beads, 13 altcoins, 251–257 anarcho‐capitalism, 203–204 antifragility, 230–232 art, 98–104 aureus, 25 Austrian school of economics, 3, 70, 106, 142–145, 204 barter, 1 bezant, 28–29 Bitcoin, 33–34, 167 block subsidy, 187, 199, 218 blockchain, 257–272 breakdown of the family, 95 Bretton Woods conference, 56–57 business cycle, 116, 119, 145 Byzantine empire, 28–29 Byzantium, see Byzantine empire capital goods, 9, 75, 109–116 capitalism, 92, 109–111, 118, 200 cargo cult science, 258 cash, 169, 171, 207, 238 cash, digital, see digital cash central banks, 39–40, 56–57, 59, 69, 89, 117–119, 210–212 coin clipping, 25 coincidence of wants, 2 coins, 18 comparative advantage, 108 Constantine, 28 counterparty risk, 208 crime, 238–240 Croesus, 18, 25 cypherpunk, 203, 246 DAO, see Decentralized Autonomous Organization Dark Ages, 29–30 Decentralized Autonomous Organization, 254, 266–267 deflation, 121, 140–141 denarius, 25 depression, economic, 49–53, 120–124 depression, psychological, 95 digital cash, 168–170, 182, 200, 207, 238 digital goods, 201–202 digital scarcity, 177, 199–200 dinar, 28–29 Diocletian, 26, 28 direct exchange, 1 ducat, 30 easy money, 5 easy money trap, 5 Ehrlich, Paul, 195 Ethereum, 254 Federal Reserve, 49, 51, 59, 120, 125 fiat money, see government money Finney, Hal, 209, 223, 252 Fisher, Irving, 124 florin, 30 fractional reserve banking, 113, 124, 161, 206, 209 Friedman, Milton, 121–123, 125, 140, 155 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 155 GDP, 130–131 General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs, 58 gold, 17, 19–22, 23–24, 82, 85–89, 155, 214 gold standard, 19, 31–32, 35–40, 250 government money, 9, 37, 41–43, 51, 62, 66–70, 87–89, 181 Great Depression, 49–53, 124–125 hard money, 5 hashing, 191, 248 Hayek, Friedrich, 47, 72, 106–107, 126 Hoover, Herbert, 49–50 hyperinflation, 48, 62–63, 66–67 Impossible Trinity, 128, 131 indirect exchange, 2 inflation, 26–27, 44–45, 48–51, 60–61, 81, 118, 138–139 interest rates, 80, 112–119, 145, 157 International Monetary Fund, 57–58, 120 Julius Caesar, 25 Keynes, John Maynard, 51–52, 54–56, 71, 82–83, 91–92, 95, 117, 131, 137–139, 143, 153, 155 Kremer, Michael, 196 Lips, Ferdinand, 27 malinvestments, 145 marginal utility, 84 market demand, 19 marshmallow experiment, see Stanford Marshmallow Experiment medium of exchange, 2 Menger, Carl, 3, 34 Merkle tree, 175 Merkle, Ralph, 175 Michelangelo, 100 Mischel, Walter, 77 Mises, Ludwig von, 36, 38, 70, 109–111, 116–117, 135, 142, 145, 182 Monetarism, 121, 124, 137, 140 monetary demand, 19 monetary nationalism, 47, 213 Nakamoto, Satoshi, 142, 171, 212, 223, 252 Nero, 25 New Deal, 50 New Liberty Standard, 182 Newton, Isaac, 31 Nixon, Richard, 60–61 O'Keefe, David, 12–13 peer‐to‐peer network, 192 price elasticity of supply, 24 prices, 106–111, 119 proof‐of‐work, 171–172, 218–219 public key cryptography, 191, 217 Rai stones, 9, 11–13, 174 recession, 36, 91–92, 116–124, 138–140 Renaissance, 29–30 reserve currency, 37–39, 56, 206–210 Roman empire, 25 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 49–51 Rothbard, Murray, 34, 49, 79, 116, 126, 143, 204 Rothko, Mark, 102 Royal Mint, 31 salability, 3 Samuelson, Paul, 55, 158–159 Satoshi, see Nakamoto, Satoshi satoshis, 175, 179, 181, 198 savings, 35, 83, 90–93, 114, 143, 153, 163 scarcity, 110–114, 177, 193–195, 199 Schwartz, Anna, 121–123, 125 seashells, 14 silver, 17, 22–23, 30–33 Simon, Julian, 193, 195 smart contracts, 265–267 socialism, 109–111, 118 solidus, 26, 28–29, 212 sound money, 7, 30, 34, 43, 70–71, 73, 89–90, 119, 146, 150, 153, 165, 249–251 Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, 77, 143–144 state theory of money, 136–137 stock‐to‐flow ratio, 5–6, 23, 155, 199 store of value, 4, 193, 208 Switzerland, 37, 90, 119 time preference, 7, 74–80, 143 unit of account, 8, 212–216 unsound money, 25, 38, 71, 90, 102, 115, 119, 127, 145–163 Wales, Jimmy, 106 war, 145–149 White, Harry Dexter, 56 Wikipedia, 106 World War I, 41, 43–46 World War II, 53–55 Yap, 9, 11–13, 174 WILEY END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT Go to www.wiley.com/go/eula to access Wiley’s ebook EULA.

This is a simple way of testing children's time preference: students with a lower time preference were the ones who could wait for the second piece of candy, whereas the students with the higher time preference could not. Mischel followed up with the children decades later and found significant correlation between having a low time preference as measured with the marshmallow test and good academic achievement, high SAT score, low body mass index, and lack of addiction to drugs. As an economics professor, I make sure to teach the marshmallow experiment in every course I teach, as I believe it is the single most important lesson economics can teach to individuals, and am astounded that university curricula in economics have almost entirely ignored this lesson, to the point that many academic economists have no familiarity with the term time preference altogether or its significance.

The process of producing fish for Linda's descendants has become so long and sophisticated it takes decades to complete, whereas Harry's descendants still complete their process in a few hours every day. The difference, of course, is that Linda's descendants have vastly higher productivity than Harry's, and that's what makes engaging in the longer process worthwhile. An important demonstration of the importance of time preference comes from the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment,2 conducted in the late 1960s. Psychologist Walter Mischel would leave children in a room with a piece of marshmallow or a cookie, and tell the kids they were free to have it if they wanted, but that he will come back in 15 minutes, and if the children had not eaten the candy, he would offer them a second piece as a reward.


pages: 403 words: 106,707

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson

airport security, animal electricity, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, Iridium satellite, medical residency, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, technoutopianism, Walter Mischel

, 83–84 Simpson, Tom, 152–53, 154 Skiba, Philip, 78 “Sleep low,” 196 Slovak Direct, 197–98 Slushies, 148–49 Smith, John, 10 Soda doping, 116 South African Special Forces, 170, 171 South Georgia Island, 28 South Pole, 17–19, 25–28, 33–36 Special Air Service (SAS), 26 Spleen vent, 124–25 Sports drinks, 51–52, 71–72, 78, 160–61, 188–91, 266 Sports Illustrated, 65, 118, 150–51 Staiano, Walter, 93, 216–17, 221 Stanford marshmallow experiment, 67–68 Stanley Cup, 95–96 State Central Institute of Physical Culture, 105 Static apnea, 122–23 Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 184–86 Steinhaus, Arthur, 103–5, 139 Stellingwerff, Hilary, 250 Stellingwerff, Trent, 175, 187, 191, 250–51 Stinson, Jason, 141–43, 145, 147, 154–55, 166, 285n Stomach temperature, 148–49 “Stress-induced analgesia,” 95 Stringer, Korey, 142 Stroop task, 68, 69 Strug, Kerri, 96 Sub-four-minute mile, 7–9, 12–14, 203–4 Sub-two-hour marathon, 2–4, 13, 33, 73–79, 201–6, 263–67 Subliminal messages, 15, 65–66, 70, 213 Sullivan, James E., 160 “Sun dogs,” 26 Svendsen, Oskar, 136 Sweating, 145, 148, 149, 150, 160 Swishing drinks, 190, 191 Tadese, Zersenay, 76–79, 188–89, 201–3, 205–6, 264–66 Tallent, Jared, 178 Tam, Nicholas, 171–72 Taste, 120, 126 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 30 Taylor, Henry Longstreet, 32 Teff, 182–83 Tegenkamp, Matt, 74 Tergat, Paul, 2, 175 Thermoregulation, 143–45 Thirst, 169–74, 176 desert, 157–59 Thomas, Jesse, 89, 236–37, 242–43 Thompson, Benjamin, 143 Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), 56–57 Thugwane, Josia, 45 Time-to-exhaustion tests, 22–23, 92–95 Titan Dome, 34 Tolstoy, Leo, 95 Tor des Géants, 109–10, 112–13 Toronto Maple Leafs, 95–96 Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2011), 246–49, 256–57, 258 Tortoise and the Hare, 43 Tour de France, 83–84, 85, 86, 91, 152–53 Tourniquet tolerance, 88–89 Training for the New Alpinism (House and Johnston), 197–98 Transcend (documentary), 249–50 Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), 15, 94–95, 231–32, 235–36, 237, 241–43 Halo headphones, 238–41 Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS), 93 Trans Europe Foot Race, 84 Treadmill tests, 22, 29–30, 32, 40, 45–46, 70–71, 76–77, 151, 163, 178, 180 Treatise of Man (Descartes), 96 Triplett, Norman, 63 Tropical Storm Beryl, 37 Trubridge, William, 119–20, 121, 122, 124, 126 True beliefs, 257–58 Tucker, Ross, 46, 48, 53, 115, 149, 210–11, 212, 224 Twight, Mark, 196–99 Two-hour marathon.

This is one of the skills that Stanford University psychologist Walter Mischel tested with his famous “marshmallow test” in the late 1960s. The experimenters offered preschoolers a choice between one treat right away, or two treats if they waited for fifteen minutes. Over decades of follow-up, the children who resisted temptation the longest ended up with better test scores, more education, and lower body-mass index.19 Other studies have linked low response inhibition to higher risk of outcomes like divorce and even crack cocaine addiction. No one has checked whether the kids who aced the marshmallow test were more likely to become champion endurance athletes—but they should.

., “Talking Yourself Out of Exhaustion: The Effects of Self-Talk on Endurance Performance,” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 46, no. 5 (2014). 18. caffeine pills: F. C. Wardenaar et al., “Nutritional Supplement Use by Dutch Elite and Sub-Elite Athletes: Does Receiving Dietary Counseling Make a Difference?,” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 2, no. 1 (2017). 19. his famous “marshmallow test”: Walter Mischel et al., “Delay of Gratification in Children,” Science 244, no. 4907 (1989); also B. J. Casey et al., “Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Delay of Gratification 40 Years Later,” PNAS 108, no. 36 (2011). 20. tax their subjects’ response inhibition: B. Pageaux et al., “Response Inhibition Impairs Subsequent Self-Paced Endurance Performance,” European Journal of Applied Physiology 114, no. 5 (2014). 21. professionals were significantly better at the Stroop task: K.


pages: 281 words: 79,464

Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion by Paul Bloom

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Columbine, David Brooks, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Ferguson, Missouri, impulse control, meta-analysis, Paul Erdős, period drama, Peter Singer: altruism, publication bias, Ralph Waldo Emerson, replication crisis, Ronald Reagan, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

See also psychopaths Solomon, Andrew, 20 Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr, 92 Somalia, 93, 94 Spanish Civil War, 188 sports fans, 236 spotlight nature of empathy, 9, 30–31, 33–34, 87–88, 89–90, 95, 130, 136–37 “spree killers,” 181 Stagnaro, Nick, 195 Stalin, Joseph, 89 stamp collecting, 155 Stanford marshmallow experiment, 234 Stapel, Diederik, 223–24 Steinle, Kate, 192 stereotypes, 37, 121 Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 48–49, 92 Strangers Drowning (MacFarquhar), 46–47 Sudan, 93, 94 suffering, 17, 30–31, 35, 46–47, 73–74, 88–89, 155–56, 173–74 Supreme Court, U.S., 125–26 “sympathy,” 16–17, 39, 40 Syria, 193 tax policy, 116 tenderness and aestheticism, 145 Texas Hold’em, 28 theory of mind, 17, 62 Theory of Moral Sentiments, The (Smith).

Hambrick and Christopher Chabris, “Yes, IQ Really Matters,” Slate, April 14, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/04/what_do_sat_and_iq_tests_measure_gen eral_intelligence_predicts_school_and.html. 233 professional moral philosophers Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust, “The Moral Behavior of Ethics Professors: Relationships Among Self-Reported Behavior, Expressed Normative Attitude, and Directly Observed Behavior,” Philosophical Psychology 27 (2014): 293–327. 234 Walter Mischel investigated For a review, see Walter Mischel, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Boston: Little, Brown, 2014). studies of exceptional altruists Abigail A. Marsh et al., “Neural and Cognitive Characteristics of Extraordinary Altruists,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (2014): 15036–41. Steven Pinker has argued Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (New York: Penguin Books, 2011). 235 Smith discusses the qualities Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Lawrence, KS: Digireads.com, 2010), 130.

., 184 Less Than Human (Smith), 204–5, 206 Levi, Primo, 206–7 Lévi-Strauss, Claude, 202–3 liberals (liberalism), 113–14, 118–27 political orientation and language, 114–18 libertarians (libertarianism), 114, 115, 118, 122 lies (lying), 29 Lifton, Robert Jay, 16 Lincoln, Abraham, 167, 168 Locke, John, 115 Lockwood, Heidi Howkins, 156 Louis CK, 109 loving-kindness meditation, 139–41 loyalty, 120, 158, 159–60, 236 Lynch, Michael, 10, 51 MacFarquhar, Larissa, 10, 46–47, 104, 161, 162 MacKinnon, Catharine, 203 Macnamara, John, 229 Mad Men (TV series), 154 Make-A-Wish Foundation, 96–97 malaria, 40–41, 97, 103 Manne, Kate, 205 “man versus man” problems, 104 Marsh, Abigail, 47 marshmallow experiment, 234 martial arts, and violence, 187 Mary’s Room, 148 McClure, Jessica (Baby Jessica), 90 McVeigh, Timothy, 49 meanness, 199 measurement problem, 77–83 media spotlight, 90–91, 92–93 medical students, and empathy, 142–44 Meltzoff, Andrew, 171–72 Mencius, 22 mentalization, 17, 71 Mill, John Stuart, 29, 115, 116–17 Milton, John, 26 mind–body problem, 217, 220 mindfulness meditation, 43, 140–41 minimum wage, 119 mirror neurons, 63–64 Mischel, Walter, 234 Montross, Christine, 142–45, 146 morality, 22–23, 39–54 in babies and children, 6, 165, 171 emotional nature of, 5–6 empathy as foundation of, 19–22, 165–76 empathy as poor guide for, 2–3, 9–10, 54–55 goodness and empathy, 41–42, 101–6 inciting violence, 184–87 origins of, 171–76 reason as basis for, 5–6, 8–9, 44, 51–54 terminological issues, 39–41 moralization gap, 181–84 moral philosophy, 22, 29–30, 44, 91–92 Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 89 Myth of Mirror Neurons, The (Hickok), 64, 67 names (naming), 222 national disasters, and election years, 94 natural selection, 168–70 Nazi Doctors, The (Lifton), 16 Nazis, 5, 16, 74, 110–11, 124, 177–78, 181, 191, 196, 202, 206–7 Netanyahu, Benjamin, 188–89, 190 neuroscience, 47, 59–73 of compassion, 138–39 difference between feeling and understanding, 70–73 of empathic experiences, 62–68 empathic reactions and prior bias, preference, and judgment, 68–70, 90 localization problem, 59–61 other people’s pain, 62–68, 73–75 of reason, 216–21 Newtown school shooting, 1–2, 31–33, 90 New Yorker, The, 11–12 New York Times, 11, 100, 214 Nussbaum, Martha, 10, 107, 203 Oakley, Barbara, 135 Obama, Barack, 2, 4, 18, 19, 118, 119, 122–23, 235 Obama, Michelle, 123 objectification, 178–79, 203–4, 206 objectivity, 86, 146 Ochsner, Kevin, 71–72 O’Connor, Lynn E., 141 Oliver Twist (Dickens), 92 Omnivore’s Dilemma, The (Pollan), 50 On Apology (Lazare), 156–57 origins of empathy, 171–76 orphanages, in Cambodia, 100 Orwell, George, 37–38, 159–60, 188 oxytocin, 195 pain babies and empathy, 172–74 neuroscience of, 62–68, 73–75 role in empathy, 17, 21, 33–36, 62–68, 155–56 parenting, 97, 130–31, 154–55 Parkinson’s disease, 219 parochialism, 9, 36 “pathological altruism,” 135 Patton, George S., 178 Paul, Laurie, 147–48 Paul, Ron, 118 Personal Concern scale, 80–81 personal distress, 25 Personal Distress scale, 79–81 Perspective Taking scale, 78–81 physicalism, 148 physician-patient relationship, 143–45, 146–47 Pinker, Steven, 10, 18–19, 74–75, 239–40 moralization gap and, 181, 184 self-control and, 234 threshold effect and, 231 Pitkin, Aaron, 46 pity, 40, 100 Plato, 214 poker, 28 Poland, Hitler’s invasion of, 193 police shootings, 4, 19–20, 205 political orientation and language, 114–18 politics, 113–27 free speech and, 123–26 legal context, 125–26 liberal policies and empathy, 113–14, 118–25 rationality and irrationality in, 235–37 pornography, depiction of women in, 203–4 Poulin, Michael, 193–95 prefrontal cortex, 61, 71 presidential election of 2012, 117–18, 119 Prinz, Jesse, 10, 22, 200, 210–11 prison rape, 93 progressives (progressivism), 113–14, 118–27 political orientation and language, 114–18 projective empathy, 70–71, 155 “prosocial concern,” 62 psychoanalysis, 5, 144, 145, 216 psychological egoism, 72–74, 75–76 psychopaths (psychopathy), 42, 197–201 lack of self-control and malicious nature of, 42, 199–201 myth of pure evil, 181, 184 neuroscience of, 47, 71–73 Psychopathy Checklist, 197–201, 198 publication bias, 82–83 punishment, 161, 185, 186, 192, 195–96, 207, 209, 225 purity, 117–18, 224 qualia, and knowledge argument, 148 Rachels, James, 52 racial bias, 226 racism, 9, 48–49, 202–3 Rai, Tage, 184–85, 186 Raine, Adrian, 179 Rand, David, 7 rape, 23, 34, 35, 93, 182, 192, 206 rationality.


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Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

MOD=AJPERES [348] https://www.automotiveisac.com/best-practices/ [349] https://techcrunch.com/2015/10/23/connected-car-security-separating-fear-from-fact/ [350] http://www.raymondloewy.com/about.html [351] https://www.ft.com/content/97a04f76-3494-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3 [352] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35301279 [353] https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/inv/2016/INCLA-PE16007-7876.PDF [354] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [355] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_marshmallow_experiment [356] https://www.scribd.com/document/333075344/Apple-Comments-on-Federal-Automated-Vehicles-Policy [357] Remarks at Infrastructure Week, May 2017 [358] Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, Carlota Perez, 2002 [359] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/10/14/move-over-humans-the-robocars-are-coming/ [360] https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/a-brief-history-of-the-qwerty-keyboard/ [361] http://www.wsj.com/articles/could-self-driving-cars-spell-the-end-of-ownership-1448986572 [362] https://www.morganstanley.com/articles/autonomous-cars-the-future-is-now [363] https://www.wired.com/2016/04/american-cities-nowhere-near-ready-self-driving-cars/ [364] Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 6 [365] http://time.com/4236980/against-human-driving/ [366] https://www.ft.com/content/e961f914-6ba3-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c [367] Paul Roberts, The Impulse Society: What's Wrong With Getting What We Want, 2014 [368] http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2033076,00.html [369] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/da5d033c-8e1c-11e1-bf8f-00144feab49a.html#axzz1t4qPww6r [370] http://www.wbur.org/bostonomix/2016/04/29/traffic-future-driverless-cars

Only in this case, we haven't decided on the driving test they’ll need to pass. We do know that the existing rules of the road are not fit for purpose - because they never envisaged that technology could replace the driver. Technology frequently if not always outpaces legislation and regulation. Regulators are facing what in psychology circles would be called the Marshmallow Test[355] - a quandary of immediate gratification over a bigger future benefit. If we allow driverless cars on the road too soon, they may actually cause preventable deaths, while the technology learns and improves. Yet, in order for them to learn, they need to operate on public roads, just as learner drivers do.


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The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind by Raghuram Rajan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, business cycle, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, data acquisition, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, deskilling, disinformation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, facts on the ground, financial innovation, financial repression, full employment, future of work, global supply chain, high net worth, household responsibility system, housing crisis, Ida Tarbell, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Money creation, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Travis Kalanick, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

For instance, one study finds that children of professional families hear more spoken words—about 2,100 per hour—compared to 1,200 per hour in working-class families and 600 per hour in families on welfare.13 This means the child in a professional family typically hears millions more words every year than a child in a family on welfare, which naturally boosts both the child’s vocabulary and its ability to speak relative to its peers. The famous Stanford marshmallow test and follow-up studies suggest that professional families give their children more than just learning—they give them trust and self-control. In the early 1960s, Walter Mischel and his graduate students gave little children from Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School the choice between eating a marshmallow immediately, or waiting and getting a second marshmallow after fifteen minutes or so if they could hold out. Videos of the torments children go through as they stare at the marshmallow have been an enormous source of entertainment for adults, but Mischel found something more.

., 133–34, 156, 157–58, 320–21, 324 welfare, 129, 137, 148, 158, 230 Salam, Reihan, 235 Sandel, Michael, 389–90 Sanders, Bernie, 214 Satyanath, Shaker, 112 schools, see education and schools Schumpeter, Joseph, 203, 379 Schwartz, Heather, 225–26 science, 21 “Second Coming, The” (Yeats), 141 Second Federal Bank, xxv SeeClickFix, 311–12 Sen, Amartya, 287 Shakespeare, William, 30 Shapiro, Jesse, 332–33 Share Our Wealth Society plan, 136 Shleifer, Andrei, 197 Sinclair, Upton, 104 Singapore, 247, 291, 318 Singh, Manish, 336 Singh, Manmohan, 270 Siuai people, 9 smartphones, 175, 178, 182–83 Smith, Adam, 17, 64, 77, 80–81, 83, 84, 87, 91, 105, 200 Smoot Hawley Act, 138 socialism, 132, 138, 145–47, 168, 250 in India, 267–69, 391 socializing the young, 5–7 social media, 330, 354, 386 social relationships, 7–8 social safety nets, see safety nets Social Security, 134–38, 187, 241, 324 Sokoloff, Kenneth, 72, 96 sorting, see residential sorting South Sea Company, 68, 69–70 sovereignty, 349–72 and controlling flows, 351–54 and harmonization of regulation, 354–63 Soviet Union, 91, 145–47, 153–54, 250, 251, 267, 287, 367 Spain, 148, 162, 169, 237, 238, 353–54 Spence, Michael, 234 stagflation, 163 Standard Oil, 86, 99, 103, 107 Stanford marshmallow test, 222–23 state, xiii, xv, xvii–xviii, xx–xxi, xxvii–xxviii, 25–27, 50, 139, 140, 172, 283–86, 304, 393 anti-state ideology and, 176 buffers against market volatility, 127–38 Church and, 45–46 community and, 303–25, 345–46 constitutionally limited, 52–74, 83 definition of, xiii–xiv growth of, 145 international responsibilities and, 363–67, 372, 397 laissez-faire and, 77–78, 81, 83 markets and, 304 relief efforts from, 131–33 separation from community, xiv–xv strong but limited, rise of, 51–75 sustainable financing for, 65–71 steel industries, 87, 99, 122, 185, 186, 253, 261, 338, 364, 366 European Coal and Steel Community, 150 student loans, 317–18 suffrage, see voting, suffrage Summers, Larry, 197 Supreme Court, U.S., 103, 384 Sweden, 138 Swift, Taylor, 193 Talleyrand, Charles Maurice de, 66 Tarbell, Ida, 103, 200 tariffs, 61, 63–64, 80–81, 100, 108, 138, 150–51, 164, 181–83, 217, 242, 258–59, 271, 277, 352–53, 356, 363, 364, 366, 371 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 146, 150, 353 Tawney, Richard, 34–35, 46 taxes, 59, 61–62, 102–5, 156–57, 163–64, 206, 308–9, 364 for education, 121, 123 property, 121, 123 tax holidays, 341 tax incentives, 345 on towns, 59–60 universal basic income and, 322–23 tax preparation, 179, 180 Tea Party movement, 239–41, 242, 333 technology, xii, xxviii, 117, 160–62, 175–76, 283, 284, 286, 287 automation in, 18, 84, 179, 180, 284 China and, 261–62, 278 community and, 119, 335, 344–45 disruptive change from, xii–xiii, xix education and, 122–23 feudal community and, 41–42 financial crises and, 118 incomes and, 188–94 job losses from, xii, xviii public anxiety about, 116–18 winner-take-most effects of, 191–94 see also Industrial Revolution; Information and Communications Technology revolution Teles, Steven, 205 Thatcher, Margaret, 165–66, 194 three pillars, xiii, 25–27, 393, 394 balance between, xvii–xviii, 175, 394 see also community; markets; state Tiananmen Square protests, 250–51 Tiv people, 7–8 Tönnies, Ferdinand, 3–4 totalitarian regimes, 97 trade, 62–64, 80–81, 143, 146, 149–51, 154, 160, 164–65, 172, 181, 245, 271, 283, 307, 352–53, 363, 371 “beggar thy neighbor” policies and, 364 communications costs and, 181, 182 communities and, xviii–xx, 335, 352 European, with Muslim lands, 36 ICT revolution and, 143–44, 173, 181–88 incomes and, 188–94 protectionism and, 108, 258–59, 278, 306, 353–56, 364 tariffs and, see tariffs transportation costs and, 181–82 Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), 362 training and socializing the young, 5–7 transactions: in communities, 3, 8–9, 10–11 market, 3, 4 Trotsky, Leon, 90 Trump, Donald, 235 Truly Disadvantaged, The (Wilson), 230 Turkey, xix, 97, 167, 190, 245 Uber, 196 Unified Payments Interface (UPI), 386 unions, 165, 198, 206, 360, 361 United Kingdom, 173 Companies Act in, 377 health care in, 156 income in, 191, 192 in Opium Wars, 349–50 safety net in, 155–56 United Nations, 367 United States, 143, 145, 149, 246, 298 African Americans in, see African Americans agriculture in, 184 China and, 278 Civil War in, 74, 93, 133–34 competitive market in, 98–105 Constitution of, 71 diversity in population of, 134 financial crises in, 87–88, 118 GI Bill in, 156, 157 Gilded Age in, 87 gold standard in, 100 government debt in, 324 growth of, 148, 162 health care in, 158, 203 hegemony of, 148, 367–69 immigration and, 137, 159–60, 292 Industrial Revolution in, 121 manufacturing in, 184–85 Marshall Plan of, 149–51, 365 in postwar period, 148 presidential election of 2016, 235, 236, 333, 354 safety net in, 133–34, 157–58, 320–21, 324 schools in, 119–25, 127, 190–91, 233–34, 317 South of, 72, 74 Supreme Court, 103, 384 voting rights in, 92–93, 96 Western settlers in, 72, 99–100 universal basic income (UBI), 322–23 universities, see colleges and universities University of Chicago, xxiii, xxvi, 87, 124–25, 164, 290–91 University of Rochester, 223 usury: Catholic Church and, 34–42, 44–46, 49 favorable public attitudes toward, 44 intellectual support for ban on, 39–40 prohibition on, 31–32 rationale for proscribing, 32–34 values: community, and tolerance for markets, 390–92 conflict over, 234–36 Virginia, 58 Voigtländer, Nico, 112 Volcker, Paul, 163 Voth, Hans-Joachim, 112 voting and suffrage, xxvii, 26, 79, 105 extension of franchise, 91–98 wages, see income and wages Wallis, John, 97 Washington Post, 108 wealth, 111, 395–96 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 80 weavers, 18–19, 116, 188 Weber, Max, 47, 38 Weingast, Barry, 70, 97–98 welfare, 129, 137, 148, 158, 230 Wellman, Andrew, 331 Whigs, 67, 95 William of Orange, 67 Wilson, William Junius, 230, 231 Wilson, Woodrow, 125 Wolf, Martin, 355 workers, 75, 78, 79, 87, 89, 97, 127–28 education and capabilities of, 313–18 insurance plans for, 132 rights of, 360–61 strikes by, 102 unions for, 165, 198, 206, 360, 361 see also income and wages; jobs working at a distance, 219, 220 World Bank, 151, 253–54 World Trade Organization (WTO), 353, 356, 362 World Values Survey, 297 World War I, 103, 112, 124 World War II, xxvii, 138, 139, 140, 143, 145, 146, 155–57, 210, 243, 367 Marshall Plan and, 149–51, 365 postwar period, 148–54 Wulf, Julie, 193 Xi Jinping, 261, 278 Xiushui Market, 255 Yeats, W.

Rodriguez, “Delay of Gratification in Children,” Science 244, no. 4907 (1989): 933–38; Walter Mischel, Yuichi Shoda, and Philip K. Peake, “The Nature of Adolescent Competencies Predicted by Preschool Delay of Gratification,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54, no. 4 (1988): 687–96; Jacoba Urist, “What the Marshmallow Test Really Teaches About Self-Control,” The Atlantic, September 24, 2014, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/what-the-marshmallow-test-really-teaches-about-self-control/380673/. 15. Celeste Kidd, Holly Palmeri, and Richard N. Aslin, “Rational Snacking: Young Children’s Decision-making on the Marshmallow Task is Moderated by Beliefs About Environmental Reliability,” Cognition 126, no. 1 (2013): 109–14. 16.


pages: 500 words: 145,005

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

"Robert Solow", 3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, constrained optimization, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, hindsight bias, Home mortgage interest deduction, impulse control, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, late fees, law of one price, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market clearing, Mason jar, mental accounting, meta-analysis, money market fund, More Guns, Less Crime, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, New Journalism, nudge unit, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, presumed consent, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Working Paper 20659, National Bureau of Economic Research. Zamir, Eyal, and Doron Teichman. 2014. The Oxford Handbook of Behavioral Economics and the Law. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Zielinski, Sarah. 2014. “A Parrot Passes the Marshmallow Test.” Slate, September 9. Available at: http://www.slate.com/blogs/wild_things/2014/09/09/marshmallow_test_of_self_control_an_african_grey_parrot_performs_as_well.html. LIST OF FIGURES Unless otherwise noted, all figures created by Kevin Quealy Fig. 1. Railroad Track Puzzle Fig. 2. Utility of Wealth Fig. 3. The Value Function Fig. 4. Saul Steinberg, “View of the World from 9th Avenue” (New Yorker, March 29, 1976).

“The Modigliani–Miller Propositions after Thirty Years.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 2, no. 4: 99–120. Mischel, Walter. 1968. Personality and Assessment. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. ———. 1969. “Continuity and Change in Personality.” American Psychologist 24, no. 11: 1012. ———. 2014. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control. New York: Little, Brown. ———, Ozlem Ayduk, Marc G. Berman, B. J. Casey, Ian H. Gotlib, John Jonides, Ethan Kross, Theresa Teslovich, Nicole L Wilson, Vivian Zayas, et al. 2010. “‘Willpower’ over the Life Span: Decomposing Self-Regulation.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 6, no. 2: 252–6.

This knowledge is proving important in dealing with many of society’s biggest problems, as we will see later on. ________________ * In truth, Odysseus was not clever enough to think up this plan himself. He got some good advice from Circe, a goddess who specialized in herbs and drugs. Go figure. † Some researchers have tried a version of the marshmallow/Oreo experiment on animals. Most go for the immediate reward, but one particularly clever African gray parrot named Griffen was shown to display better self-control than most preschoolers (Zielinski, 2014). ‡ The two-system model articulated by Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow was not the way he and Tversky originally thought about their research.


pages: 195 words: 60,471

Hello, Habits by Fumio Sasaki

bounce rate, Jeff Bezos, Kōnosuke Matsushita, Richard Thaler, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel

They’re the ones with the “strong willpower” who can maintain good habits and make efforts to achieve their objectives. What’s the difference between people who give in to the rewards in front of them and those who can wait for rewards in the future? An answer lies in the famous “marshmallow test” conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel concerning this issue. I would like you to pay attention to this marshmallow test, as it will be one of the central themes in this book. This test was conducted on children aged four to five at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School during the 1960s. First, children chose what they wanted to eat the most from among snacks like marshmallows, cookies, and pretzels.

In the test, the children were able to wait for an average of six minutes, and two-thirds of them were unable to wait and ended up eating the marshmallow in front of them. The remaining third were able to wait, and obtained two marshmallows. Can we predict the future with the marshmallow test? This experiment starts to get interesting from here. A surprising result of long-term follow-up studies on the children who took the marshmallow test was that the longer they were able to wait when they took the test as preschoolers, the better they did on their SATs. Children who had been able to wait for fifteen minutes scored better than those who failed in thirty seconds by 210 points.

Rather than saying that I wrote this book, it’s like I went ahead and digested in my own way what you all said, edited it, and rearranged it. I earnestly admire your efforts. Now, as I did in my last work, I want to thank my parents. This is what Walter Mischel of the marshmallow test, an integral theme in this book, has said about raising children: it wasn’t children controlled excessively by their parents, but children whose choices and independence had been respected that obtained the skills necessary to be the most successful in the marshmallow test. Though I used to think that I was a person who had weak willpower, I think the fact that I was indeed raised by my parents in that way has somehow tied in to the habits that I’ve now acquired.


pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, twin studies, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

When Mischel and his colleagues followed up with the same children fourteen years later, around the time of their high school graduation, he found that the ones who did well on the marshmallow experiment scored higher on behavioral tests that measured assertiveness, social effectiveness and the ability to cope with frustration. They also scored, on average, 210 points higher on their SATs than the kids who’d jumped at the single marshmallow so many years earlier. Contemporary studies have expanded on Mischel’s work, using a toy instead of a marshmallow, and testing kids at a variety of ages, though mercifully making them endure just three minutes of waiting instead of fifteen.

It’s not just automatic maturation that strengthens the restraint muscles. Parental teaching and social learning play a role, too. In a 2012 study, a team led by cognitive scientist Celeste Kidd of the University of Rochester reran the marshmallow test but divided the kids into two groups: those who had been conditioned to believe that the researchers were honest and that their word could be trusted, and those who were given reason to doubt that. The effectiveness of the marshmallow test, after all, rests on the children being able to trust that if they resist eating the solitary treat, the experimenter will come back and make good on the bargain they struck.

And as for asking babies to police themselves—to keep their hands off the plate of snacks or their playmate’s belongings? Not a chance. The heart wants what it wants. It was in the 1960s that Stanford University psychologist Walter Mischel first conducted his landmark study in impulse control that became simply and universally known as “the marshmallow test.” Working with a sample group of four-year-olds, he offered each of the kids a deal: They could have one marshmallow right away or, if they waited fifteen minutes while he stepped out to run an errand, they could have two upon his return. When he did leave the room, he left the single marshmallow on a plate in easy reach of the child.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

A team of researchers at the University of Rochester recently explored how prior experiences might affect behavior in the marshmallow test. Before marshmallows were even mentioned, the kids in the experiment embarked on an art project. The experimenter gave them some mediocre supplies, and promised to be back with better options soon. But, unbeknownst to them, the children were divided into two groups. In one group, the experimenter was reliable, and came back with the better art supplies as promised. In the other, she was unreliable, coming back with nothing but apologies. The art project completed, the children went on to the standard marshmallow test. And here, the children who had learned that the experimenter was unreliable were more likely to eat the marshmallow before she came back, losing the opportunity to earn a second treat.

What we project about the future reveals a lot—about the world we live in, and about our own past. What Our Predictions Tell Us About Ourselves When Walter Mischel ran his famous “marshmallow test” in the early 1970s, he was trying to understand how the ability to delay gratification develops with age. At a nursery school on the Stanford campus, a series of three-, four-, and five-year-olds had their willpower tested. Each child would be shown a delicious treat, such as a marshmallow, and told that the adult running the experiment was about to leave the room for a while. If they wanted to, they could eat the treat right away. But if they waited until the experimenter came back, they would get two treats.

The Multiplicative Rule then suggests that a protracted wait is just a small fraction of what’s to come. Decades after the original marshmallow experiments, Walter Mischel and his colleagues went back and looked at how the participants were faring in life. Astonishingly, they found that children who had waited for two treats grew into young adults who were more successful than the others, even measured by quantitative metrics like their SAT scores. If the marshmallow test is about willpower, this is a powerful testament to the impact that learning self-control can have on one’s life. But if the test is less about will than about expectations, then this tells a different, perhaps more poignant story.


pages: 200 words: 64,329

Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole

Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment

But though it may not be in the great tradition of Edmund Burke, it is nonetheless worthy of attention for it contains many of the seeds of Brexit. First, there is the naughty-boy roguish charm. It is a (slightly) grown-up version of a Just William story, where instead of stealing a cake at the vicar’s tea party, Boris is wolfing his wife’s toast. It is disarmingly childish. It functions as an English version of the famous Stanford marshmallow test in which children’s capacity for delayed gratification was assessed by offering them a choice between one treat now or two treats a little later. Boris fails the toast test – even his wife’s suffering in childbirth is not enough to make him prioritize her needs over his own. Yet even while confessing his sin, he is also evoking the thrills of rebelling against constraint.


The Politics of Pain by Fintan O'Toole

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, colonial rule, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, Desert Island Discs, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, full employment, Khartoum Gordon, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment

But though it may not be in the great tradition of Edmund Burke, it is nonetheless worthy of attention for it contains many of the seeds of Brexit. First, there is the naughty-boy roguish charm. It is a (slightly) grown-up version of a Just William story, where instead of stealing a cake at the vicar’s tea party, Boris is wolfing his wife’s toast. It is disarmingly childish. It functions as an English version of the famous Stanford marshmallow test in which children’s capacity for delayed gratification was assessed by offering them a choice between one treat now or two treats a little later. Boris fails the toast test – even his wife’s suffering in childbirth is not enough to make him prioritize her needs over his own. Yet even while confessing his sin, he is also evoking the thrills of rebelling against constraint.


pages: 487 words: 151,810

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, business process, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial independence, Flynn Effect, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, impulse control, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, loss aversion, medical residency, meta-analysis, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, six sigma, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Walter Mischel, young professional

The kids who could wait a full fifteen minutes had, thirteen years later, SAT scores that were 210 points higher than the kids who could wait only thirty seconds. (The marshmallow test turned out to be a better predictor of SAT scores than the IQ tests given to four-year-olds.) Twenty years later, they had much higher college-completion rates, and thirty years later, they had much higher incomes. The kids who could not wait at all had much higher incarceration rates. They were much more likely to suffer from drug- and alcohol-addiction problems. The test presented kids with a conflict between short-term impulse and long-term reward. The marshmallow test measured whether kids had learned strategies to control their impulses.

., 2008), 133. 5 dandelion children and orchid children David Dobbs, “The Science of Success,” The Atlantic, December 2009, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/12/the-science-of-success/7761/. 6 A study of engineers Blair Justice, “The Will to Stay Well,” New York Times, April 17, 1988, http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/17/magazine/the-will-to-stay-well.html. 7 Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman Angela L. Duckworth and Martin E. P. Seligman, “Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents,” Psychological Science 16, no. 12 (2005): 939–44, http://www.citeulike.org/user/kericson/article/408060. 8 The marshmallow test turned Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2009), 112. 9 The kids who possessed Jonah Lehrer, “Don’t! The Secret of Self-Control,” The New Yorker, May 18, 2009, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/18/090518fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all. 10 These children could wait Walter Mischel and Ozlem Ayduk, “Willpower in a Cognitive-Affective Processing System: The Dynamics of Delay of Gratification,” in Handbook of Self-Regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications, eds.

The Famous Marshmallow Around 1970 Walter Mischel, then at Stanford and now at Columbia, launched one of the most famous and delightful experiments in modern psychology. He sat a series of four-year-olds in a room and put a marshmallow on the table. He told them they could eat the marshmallow right away, but that he was going to go away and if they waited until he returned he would give them two marshmallows. In the videos of the experiment you can see Mischel leave the room, and then the children squirming, kicking, hiding their eyes, and banging their heads on the table, trying not to eat the marshmallow on the table in front of them. One day, Mischel used an Oreo instead of a marshmallow. A kid picked up the cookie, slyly ate the creamy filling and carefully put it back in its place.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

One way to think about it is that in today’s increasingly dynamic environment, we’re all being challenged (or will soon be) to take some version of the marshmallow test: we’ll be expected to quickly adapt to using new and unfamiliar tools, as we try to construct new businesses, new markets, new careers, new life plans—using ever-changing technology, without clear instructions, and with the clock ticking. All of which requires people to be not only better questioners, but better experimenters. When you take a look at how adults in innovative environments work, they tend to operate much like the kids in the marshmallow test. At IDEO, the firm’s designers quickly move from coming up with ideas to building and testing those ideas.

How do we gear up production? How do we handle the orders? How do we launch a full-fledged business? How might we roll it instead of lugging it? What if I put wheels on these suitcases? (the question behind the Rollaboard) How do you build a tower that doesn’t collapse (even after you put the marshmallow on top)? What does an offbeat test involving marshmallows and kindergartners mean to those of us operating in the real world? How do you make a hard-boiled egg’s shell disappear? What if you could boil an egg in a hard-boiled egg shape, but with the shell off? How can you learn to love a broken foot? How do I learn to learn from failure?

The kids used their time much more efficiently by constructing right away. They tried one way of building, and if it didn’t work, they quickly tried another. They got in a lot more tries. They learned from their mistakes as they went along, instead of attempting to figure out everything in advance. The point of the marshmallow experiment was not to humble MBA students (if anything, that was a side benefit), but rather to better understand how to make progress when tasked with a difficult challenge in uncertain conditions. What we learn from those kids is that there’s no substitute for quickly trying things out to see what works.


pages: 354 words: 91,875

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Doto Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

banking crisis, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive bias, delayed gratification, game design, impulse control, lifelogging, loss aversion, meta-analysis, phenotype, Richard Thaler, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Tragedy of the Commons, Walter Mischel

Appetite 38 (2002): 237–38. Page 161—“Ten-minute delay”: McClure, S. M., K. M. Ericson, D. I. Laibson, G. Loewenstein, and J. D. Cohen. “Time Discounting for Primary Rewards.” Journal of Neuroscience 27 (2007): 5796–804. Page 163—“The Marshmallow Test”: Mischel, W., Y. Shoda, and M. I. Rodriguez. “Delay of Gratification in Children.” Science 244 (1989): 933–38. Page 164—Follow-up to the marshmallow test: Mischel, W., Y. Shoda, and P. K. Peake. “The Nature of Adolescent Competencies Predicted by Preschool Delay of Gratification.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54 (1988): 687–96. See also Eigsti, I. M., V.

They cannot resist the promise of immediate gratification, like a going-out-of-business sale that slashes prices up to 90 percent just to get some quick cash. How big your discount rate is turns out to be a major determinant of your long-term health and success. The first study to look at the long-term consequences of a person’s discount rate was a classic psychology experiment best known as “The Marshmallow Test.” In the late 1960s, Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel gave a bunch of four-year-olds the choice between one treat now or two treats in fifteen minutes. After explaining the choice, the experimenter left the child alone in a room with both treats and a bell. If the child could wait until the experimenter returned, he could have both treats.

One girl covers her face with her hair so she can’t see the treats; one boy keeps an eye on the treats but moves the bell far away so he can’t reach it; another boy decides to compromise by licking the treats without actually eating them, portending an excellent future in politics. Although the study taught the researchers a lot about how four-year-olds delay gratification, it also provided a shockingly good way to predict a child’s future. How long a four-year-old waited in the marshmallow test predicted that child’s academic and social success ten years later. The kids who waited the longest were more popular, had higher GPAs, and were better able to handle stress. They also had higher SAT scores and performed better on a neuropsychological test of prefrontal cortex function. Being able to wait fifteen minutes for two marshmallows was the perfect measure of something far more important: How well could a child handle temporary discomfort to accomplish a long-term goal?


pages: 304 words: 99,836

Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story by Greg Smith

always be closing, asset allocation, Bear Stearns, Black Swan, bonus culture, break the buck, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, East Village, fixed income, Flash crash, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, information asymmetry, London Interbank Offered Rate, mega-rich, money market fund, new economy, Nick Leeson, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, short selling, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, technology bubble, too big to fail

I took the president of my largest client. At Pine Street, thought leaders such as Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic turned Harvard Business School professor, the author of Authentic Leadership, and a Goldman Sachs Board member, talked about how leaders are meant to behave. A scientist talked to us about the Stanford marshmallow experiment—the one where children were left alone in a room with a marshmallow. Some gobbled up the marshmallow; others waited and then ate it; still others waited until the tester returned to the room. The subjects were tracked over the next forty years, and the researchers found that the ones who had delayed gratification the longest ended up growing into leaders; the little piggies, not so much.


pages: 406 words: 109,794

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional

Psychologist Walter Mischel and his research team followed up with the children years later, and found that the longer a child had been able to wait, the more likely she was to be successful socially, academically, and financially, and the less likely she was to abuse drugs. The marshmallow test was already a celebrity as scientific experiments go, but it became the Beyoncé of studies when media outlets and parents eager to foretell their child’s destiny started posting DIY marshmallow tests online. The videos are by turns adorable and intriguing. Nearly all kids wait at least a little. Some stare at the marshmallow, touch it, sniff it, delicately tap their tongue to it and pull back as if it were hot.

One little boy who spent his time looking in every direction except at the marshmallow is so ravenous when the experimenter returns with his second treat that he mashes them both into his mouth immediately. The crystal ball allure of the marshmallow test is undeniable, and also misconstrued. Mischel’s collaborator Yuichi Shoda has repeatedly made a point of saying that plenty of preschoolers who ate the marshmallow turned out just fine.* Shoda maintained that the most exciting aspect of the studies was demonstrating how easily children could learn to change a specific behavior with simple mental strategies, like thinking about the marshmallow as a cloud rather than food. Shoda’s post-marshmallow-test work has been one part of a bridge in psychology between extreme arguments in the debate about the roles of nature and nurture in personality.

., Persons in Context: Building a Science of the Individual (New York: Guilford Press, 2007 [Kindle ebook]). “If you are conscientious”: T. Rose, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness (New York: HarperOne, 2016 [Kindle ebook]). a replication of the marshmallow test: T. W. Watts et al., “Revisiting the Marshmallow Test,” Psychological Science 29, no. 7 (2018): 1159–77. Ibarra began; “We discover the possibilities”: H. Ibarra, Working Identity (Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2003). “painless path to a new career”: P. Capell, “Taking the Painless Path to a New Career,” Wall Street Journal Europe, January 2, 2002.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

The marginal extra income from work is now so finely balanced with the cost of childcare that it is deterring many on lower and middling incomes from returning to work. Research for the insurance giant Aviva shows that, after tax, a woman in a relationship on the average part-time salary of £8,557 with children aged one and seven would lose £98 a month by going back to work. Delayed Gratification In 1972, psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University conducted a ‘marshmallow test’ with four- to six-year-olds at a nursery, and the results were followed up with further studies between 1988 and 2011. 72 Britannia Unchained The children were offered one marshmallow straight away, or two if they waited a while. Just one third could avoid the temptation, and waited long enough to get the second marshmallow.

(1967) 9 favelas (Brazilian shantytowns) 101–4 drug lords 102–3 entrepreneurial spirit 103–4 feed-in tariffs 85 Ferguson, Niall 21, 66, 91 First Care Products 79 fiscal rules 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33 see also Golden Rule Flaherty, Jim 35 Flikr 95 Frankel, Jeffrey 29 fuel prices 62 Furedi, Frank 87 139 geek culture 48–51 General Motors 92 Germany birth rate 107 economic growth 8 educational reform 41 high-tech industry 52 and PISA results 40–1, 57 welfare reform 4 Giffords, Gabrielle 78, 79–80 Gladwell, Malcolm 86 Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12 88 global financial crisis (2007–08) 2–3, 4, 9–10, 31–2 responses to 13–14 globalisation 4, 54 Golden Rule 28, 29 Google 60, 81, 93 Gou, Terry 105 Gove, Michael 38 Greece 3 Griffin, John 62 Haddock, Richard 64 Harford, Tim 92 Hari, Johann 19 Harper, Stephen 35, 36 Harvard University Harvard Institute of Economic Research 68, 69 and New Keynesianism 25, 26 Hasan, Medhi 19 Hawke, Bob 32 Heath, Edward 8, 9, 114 Henderson, Sir Nicholas 7, 8 Heritage Foundation 36 Hernández, Daniel, Jr 78 Hewlett Packard 81, 93 Higher Education Policy Institute 57 Hinduja brothers 72–3 Hodge, Margaret 43 Hoffman, Reid 97 Hong Kong 5, 36, 66, 113 Howard, John 33 Human Rights Act 74 140 Britannia Unchained Hutton, Will 26 hyperinflation 21, 83, 104, 105 IBM 81 ICQ (instant messaging programme) 81 Imperial College 58 India 4–5, 100, 113, 115 attitudes to science and technology 44, 46, 49–51 Institutes of Technology 51, 53 work ethic 57, 72–3 innovation 5, 93–4, 97, 98–9, 105, 114 and informal economy 88–9 and necessity 86, 91 patent applications 81, 82, 95–7 and risk 91–2 see also entrepreneurship; Israeli entrepreneurial culture; venture capital instant messaging 81 Intel 68, 81 intellectual capital 52, 53, 112 intellectual property law 55, 89 International Indicators of Educational Systems (INES) project (OECD) 39 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 34, 114 internet 55, 81, 88, 99, 108–9 Intuit 92 Iraq War (2003) 10 Isagba, Beau 1 Isenberg, Daniel 83, 94, 95–6 ‘Israeli bandage’ 78–80 Israeli entrepreneurial culture 78–86 government support for 83–6 and Jewish immigrants from Soviet Union 86 technology sector 80–1, 86 and venture capital 5, 80, 84–5, 94 Italy 3, 52 Ive, Jonathan 91 Jackson, Tim 10 Jain, Nitin 50 Japan aging population 106–7 education 40, 43, 55 work ethic 106 Jebel Ali Free Zone (Dubai) 88 Jefferson, Thomas 90 Jobs, Steve 89 Jobseeker’s Allowance 74 John-Baptiste, Ashley 45–6 Johnson, Samuel 98 Jones, Peter 97 Katz, Lawrence 25 Katzir , Ephraim 83 Keating, Paul 32 Keegan, William 26, 28 Kennedy, John F. 23–4 Keynes, John Maynard 20 Keynesian economics 14–15, 20, 24, 28 Kinnock, Neil 28 Kissinger, Henry 9 Krugman, Paul 19 Kumar, Manmohan S. 22 Laski, Harold 14 Last.fm 55, 98 Le Dang Doanh 89 Leavis, F.R. 46 Lehman Brothers 92 leverage 35 Li, David 47–8 Liberal Party (Canada) 16–18, 35 The Limits to Growth 9 LinkedIn 95, 97, 98 London tube-drivers 63 Lopes, Antonio Francisco Bonfim (‘Nem’) 103 Loughner, Jared Lee 78 Lula da Silva, Luiz Inácio 100–1 M-Systems Ltd 81 Macaulay, Thomas 19, 21 Macmillan, Harold 114 Major, John 28 Malaysia, women and tech careers 50 Index Mandelson, Peter 94, 115 Manpower Talent Shortage Survey 73 Margin Call (film) 47 Marland, Jonathan, Baron 85 Marshall, Alfred 52 marshmallow test 71–2 Martin, Paul 16–18, 35, 36 Massé, Marcel 18 Mayer, Marissa 48 meritocracy, in emerging economies 49 Merkel, Angela 46 Mexico debt default 22 education 44, 55 Peso Crisis (1994) 16 women and tech careers 50 Michau, Jean-Baptiste 70 Michel, Harald 107 Microsoft 68, 81 miners’ strike (1983–84) 114–15 Mirabilis 81 Mischel, Walter 71 Mittal, Lakshmi 73 mobile phones, dual-sim-card 89 Moo.com 55 Moody’s 47 Mossbourne Academy (Hackney) 59 Motorola 81 Mulroney, Brian 15–16, 36 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) 15 NASDAQ 80, 94 A Nation at Risk, report on US education system 39, 40 National Commission on Excellence in Education 38–9 National Employment Savings Trust Scheme (UK) 87 National Health Service (NHS) 28, 29, 31 Netanyahu, Binyamin 86 Neuwirth, Robert 89 New Keynesianism 25, 26 New Labour 24, 25 and growing deficit 29–33 141 inaccuracy of budget forecasts 29 investment in public services 12, 28–9 macroeconomic framework 27–30 tax increases 28–9 North Korea 36 North Sea oil 9, 37 Obama, Barack 100 ‘Occupy London’ protests 10 O’Donnell, Gus 27, 30 OECD, comparing school systems 31, 38–41 Ofsted 59, 71, 73 Old Age Pensions Act (1908) 69 Oliveira, Silvinha 103 Olympic Games in Brazil 101–2, 103 London tube drivers pay 63 Paypal 93, 95 Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil 104 pensions 3, 32, 63, 69–70, 110 pension age 69 Peston, Robert 28 PISA tests see Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ‘The Poles are Coming’ 63–4 poll tax riots (1990) 69, 115 The Population Bomb, (1968) 9 Postlethwaite, T.


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The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis

Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, complexity theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, endowment effect, feminist movement, framing effect, hindsight bias, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, loss aversion, medical residency, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Nate Silver, New Journalism, Paul Samuelson, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, the new new thing, Thomas Bayes, Walter Mischel, Yom Kippur War

Tracking the kids through life, Mischel later found that the better a five-year-old resisted the temptation, the higher his future SAT scores and his sense of self-worth, and the lower his body fat and the likelihood he’d suffer from some addiction. Gripped by a new enthusiasm, Danny designed a bunch of marshmallow test–like experiments. He even coined a phrase for what he was doing: the psychology of single questions. He arranged for Israeli kids on camping trips—this was just one example—to be offered a choice between sleeping in a single tent, a two-person tent, or an eight-person tent. Perhaps their answers, Danny thought, would say something about their tendency to affiliate with a group.

When he returned to Hebrew University as a young assistant professor in 1961, after four years away, he was freshly inspired by personality studies being done by the psychologist Walter Mischel. In the early 1960s Mischel created these wonderfully simple tests on children that wound up revealing a lot about them. In what became known as the “marshmallow experiment,” Mischel put three-, four-, and five-year-old kids in a room alone with their favorite treat—a pretzel stick, a marshmallow—and told them that if they could last a few minutes without eating the treat they’d receive a second treat. A small child’s ability to wait turned out to be correlated with his IQ and his family circumstances and some other things as well.


pages: 330 words: 88,445

The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance by Steven Kotler

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Clayton Christensen, data acquisition, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, fear of failure, Google Earth, haute couture, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, low earth orbit, Maui Hawaii, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, rolodex, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, X Prize

Zimbardo went on to become one of the most well-regarded psychologists of the twentieth century, author of more than fifty books, and past president of the American Psychological Association. He taught at both Yale and Stanford and was at the latter institution when Walter Mischel performed his famed marshmallow experiment. The results caught Zimbardo’s attention, but not because he was interested in delayed gratification. Rather, because they seemed to confirm his childhood suspicions about time. Zimbardo noticed two competing “time perspectives” at work in Mischel’s experiment. A time perspective is the technical name for the “permanent filter” Zimbardo described.

For similar reasons, the flow path presents an alternative to the standard Futures’ mothers-marshmallows-musicians approach to mastery. For starters, mothers aren’t required on the flow path. No one had to encourage McConkey to ski. Skiing produces flow and flow is autotelic. It was all the motivation he required. The marshmallow experiment, meanwhile, highlights the power of willpower. If kids can’t develop the inner strength to resist temptation, they can’t master themselves, let alone anything else. This makes life tricky for action and adventure athletes who, by definition, are marshmallow-eating, sensation-seeking hedonists (“thrill and adventure seeking” is one of the four categories used by psychologists to delineate sensation seekers).

See Squaw Valley Landy, John, 174 Lao Tzu, 164 lateralization, 123–26 learning from deathly mistakes, 166–67 flow, in school, 178, 216 growth mindset and, 119, 124–26 Montessori, 178, 221 prediction and “chunking” for, 64–65 shortcuts to, 86–87 speed and longevity, 192–93 Lesser, Rob, 95–96 lifestyle, 77–78, 129 Lillard, Angeline, 178 Limb, Charles, 50, 179 listening, 133 Lopez, Gerry, 37 love, 69 Luks, Allan, 98 macroflow, 31 magnetic resonance imaging. See MRI Malloy, Chris, 161 mammalian diving reflex, 110–11 marijuana, 67, 74 marshmallow experiment, 81–82, 83, 86 Maslow, Abraham, 18–19 mastery by compliance, 81–82, 83–84, 86 by flow, 85–87, 164 parenting and, 79–80 by practice, 80–81, 84, 86–87 Maverick’s, xviii–xxi McConkey, Jim, 88 McConkey, Shane BASE jumping by, 89–90, 140–43, 148–49 death of, 149, 156–57 skiing by, xi–xii, 75–78, 87–90, 148–49 McDougall, Bob, 95–96 medical surgeons, 116, 131 meditation, 40, 56, 113 mental clarity, 114–15 growth state, 118–22, 123–26 pain threshold, 13–16 risk taking, 102–3 visualization, 175–77 Metzger, Mike, xvii microflow, 31 military, 87, 163 Millennium Wave, 26–27, 29–30 Miller, Chris, 41 Mischel, Walter, 81 Montessori school, 178, 221 Moore’s Law, 182 morality, 164 Mosley, Jonny, 89 motivation by death, 166–67 factors, 158 intrinsic, 19–20, 30, 85–86 motocross, xvii mountaineering.


pages: 533 words: 125,495

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, basic income, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, coronavirus, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, Erdős number, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, feminist movement, framing effect, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, high batting average, index card, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Monty Hall problem, Nash equilibrium, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, QAnon, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, scientific worldview, selection bias, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Walter Mischel, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

And these in turn often feel like conflicts between different selves, a present self and a future self.14 The psychologist Walter Mischel captured the conflict in an agonizing choice he gave four-year-olds in a famous 1972 experiment: one marshmallow now or two marshmallows in fifteen minutes.15 Life is a never-ending gantlet of marshmallow tests, dilemmas that force us to choose between a sooner small reward and a later large reward. Watch a movie now or pass a course later; buy a bauble now or pay the rent later; enjoy five minutes of fellatio now or an unblemished record in the history books later. The marshmallow dilemma goes by several names, including self-control, delay of gratification, time preference, and discounting the future.16 It figures into any analysis of rationality because it helps explain the misconception that too much rationality makes for a cramped and dreary life.

One is that we can discount a future reward too steeply—put too low a price on it given how likely we are to live to see it and how much enjoyment it will bring. The impatience can be quantified. Shane Frederick, inventor of the Cognitive Reflection Test from the previous chapter, presented his respondents with hypothetical marshmallow tests using adult rewards, and found that a majority (especially those who fell for the seductive wrong answers on the brainteasers) preferred $3,400 then and there to $3,800 a month later, the equivalent of forgoing an investment with a 280 percent annual return.17 In real life, about half of Americans nearing retirement age have saved nothing for retirement: they’ve planned their lives as if they would be dead by then (as most of our ancestors in fact were).18 As Homer Simpson said to Marge when she warned him that he would regret his conduct, “That’s a problem for future Homer.

But the elbow shape of a hyperbola suggests that it may really be a composite of two curves, one plotting the irresistible pull of a treat that you can’t get out of your head (the bakery smell, the come-hither look, the glitter in the showroom), the other plotting a cooler assessment of costs and benefits in a hypothetical future. Studies that tempt volunteers in a scanner with adult versions of marshmallow tests confirm that different brain patterns are activated by thoughts of imminent and distant goodies.23 Though hyperbolic discounting is not rational in the way that calibrated exponential discounting can be (since it does not capture the ever-compounding uncertainty of the future), it does provide an opening for the rational self to outsmart the impetuous self.


Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World by Jevin D. West, Carl T. Bergstrom

airport security, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, disinformation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, longitudinal study, Lyft, meta-analysis, new economy, p-value, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Socratic dialogue, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, stem cell, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, When a measure becomes a target

They did not demonstrate causation: The ability to delay gratification does not necessarily cause later success and well-being.*6 But as these results filtered through the popular press, the line between correlation and causation became blurred. The results of the marshmallow test and other related studies were reported as evidence that ability to delay gratification causes success later in life. These assumptions about causation are often used as grounds to make a prescription: Improve your future by learning to delay gratification. In response to the marshmallow test, pop-psych and pop-business outlets promote training methods. Lifehacker exhorted us to “Build the Skill of Delayed Gratification.” “If you can manage to turn delaying gratification into a regular habit,” read the copy beneath a stock photo of marshmallows in Fast Company, “you may be able to take your own performance from just mediocre to top-notch.”

When you see scatter plots and related forms of data visualization, ask yourself (and maybe the person who created the graph): Is the structure of the graph suggesting a causal relationship that isn’t there? DELAYED GRATIFICATION AND COMMON CAUSE One of the hallmark discoveries of social psychology is the role that delayed gratification plays in a successful life. At the heart of delayed gratification theory is an experiment known as the marshmallow test. A four-year-old is presented with alternative rewards: one marshmallow or two marshmallows. He is told that he can have a single marshmallow anytime—but if he can wait for a while, he can have two marshmallows. The experimenter then leaves the room and measures the amount of time until the child says screw it, and takes the single marshmallow.

“Birth Rates Dropped Most in Counties Where Home Values Grew Most.” Zillow. June 6, 2018. https://www.zillow.com/​research/​birth-rates-home-values-20165/. Vigen, Tyler. “Spurious Correlations.” 2015. http://www.tylervigen.com/​spurious-correlations. Watts, T. W., G. J. Duncan, and H. Quan. “Revisiting the Marshmallow Test: A Conceptual Replication Investigating Links between Early Delay of Gratification and Later Outcomes.” Psychological Science 29 (2018): 1159–77. Zoldan, Ari. “40-Year-Old Stanford Study Reveals the 1 Quality Your Children Need to Succeed in Life.” Inc. February 1, 2018. CHAPTER 5: NUMBERS AND NONSENSE Binder, John. “2,139 DACA Recipients Convicted or Accused of Crimes against Americans.”


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Die With Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins

delayed gratification, Downton Abbey, financial independence, follow your passion, Google Earth, Gordon Gekko, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Own Your Own Home, passive income, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, time value of money, Walter Mischel

If this concept of a personal interest rate works for you, though, then keeping it in mind when you are considering buying an experience can help you decide whether it’s worth it to spend the money now or to save it for another time. Would You Rather? If the personal interest rate doesn’t do it for you, you can think in terms of simple multiples of an experience. This is how the famous marshmallow test, created for preschoolers by psychologist Walter Mischel at Stanford in the 1960s, is set up: Would you rather have one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows 15 minutes from now? Many three-year-olds might say they’d rather have two marshmallows in 15 minutes, but once that tempting marshmallow is in front of them, many can’t wait.

Buffett, Warren, 6, 34, 101 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 56 by-product argument, 47–49 C cancer treatments, cost of 57–58 careers choices and timing, 181, 183–84, 190 love my job, 47–49, 60 moving for opportunities, 185–87 slaves to our jobs, 13 starting out, 7–9 unhappiness in, 183–84 “Cat’s in the Cradle,” 90–91 Centaurus, 41 charity age and timing of, 50, 98–100 charitable foundations, 40 charitable timing, 95–100, 192 Compassion International, 101 educational causes, 98–99 Morehouse College student loans, 98 Save the Children, 101 children time with, 93–95, 120 See also inheritance, children’s; kids chiropractor story, 122–23 Cohen, Jeff, 181–82 compounding as reason to give money to children earlier, 87 of memory dividend, 30–32 of poor health, 123–25 Consumer Expenditure Survey, 56 consumption smoothing, 9–10 cookies, as example of deliberate choices, 12 costs of acquiring more money, 162–63 of survival, 157 Cuban, Mark, 177–78, 181 curve of ability to enjoy experiences, 116, 116–17 D dancer, as example of loving your job, 47 death and deterioration experiences before, 34 money at end of life, 109–10 prospect of, 2–3 spending during retirement, 52 survival instinct, 72–74 See also Life-Cycle Hypothesis (LCH); mortality risk death date, and effect on behavior, 73, 109–10 debt, for the sake of singular experiences, 105 decumulation, 53, 71, 171–74, 207m50 Spending Over Lifetime, 172 delayed gratification Ant and the Grasshopper, 16, 24 balance of, 24, 199 golden years and, 118 logic of, 3 marshmallow test, 130 senselessness of overdoing, 56, 130–32, 138, 153 Depression (era), and fear of poverty, 85 deterioration of health, 111–15 DieWithZeroBook.com, 202 “dissaving,” 47. See also decumulation. Dominguez, Joe, 10 door, as example of the value of memory, 28 Downton Abbey, 22 Duty Free Shoppers Group, 100 E Eat to Live (Fuhrman), 133 economic wisdom on annuities, 67 education spending, 27, 99 family time, 94 healthcare spending, 72 Life-Cycle Hypothesis (LCH), 46 personal choices, 170 precautionary saving, 58 timing of spending, 5, 47, 103–4 wealth transfers, 83–84 Elizabeth (working for free example), 43–45 Employee Benefit Research Institute, 52–53 energy-processing units (humans as), 16 Europe, 12, 19–21, 29, 33, 105 experience points, 25–26, 30–31, 34, 124–25, 155–56, 163–64, 189, 199–200 experiences age and timing of, 4–6, 21, 110–15, 179–80, 182–83 backpacking trip, 19–21 Central American vacation property, 32 choices, 35–37 happiness and, 13–14, 191–92, 206m33 impact of failure, 179–81 life experiences, 18, 24–25 numerical value on, 24–25 return on, 33–34 start early, 34–35, 37 See also fulfillment curve F Facebook (FB), 29–30 Farrell, Joe, 9–10, 103–7 fear as enemy of rational thinking, 84 boldness as an older person, 187–88 inaction and, 189 moving and travel, 184–87 running out of money, 14–16, 50, 85, 207m5 versus low risk tolerance, 68–69, 188–89 Federal Reserve Board, 51, 80 Feeney, Chuck, 100–101 Final Countdown (app), 74–75, 209m74 financial advisers, 34, 69–71, 104, 161–62 “finish rich,” as antithesis of Bill Perkins’s life goal, 36 FIRE movement, 10, 104 Florida, 160 Freakonomics (Levitt), 104 Friedman, Milton, 104 friends and family of Bill Perkins, stories about Arnold, John, 40–41 Baird, 88 Chris (Lara’s granddad), 112 Erin, 1 Greg, 111–112 inheritor with miserable childhood, 90 interested in giving to charity after a new business succeeds, 100 Paulie, 32 Richey, Cooper, 72 Ruffo, Jason, 19–20 Schwartz, Andy, 169–70 Staples, Jaime and Matt, 125–26 Tia (sister), 175 See also Grandma frog dissection, and underutilizing adult freedom, 36 Fuhrman, Joel, 133 fulfillment, 6, 17–35, 90, 107 fulfillment curve, 26, 31, 118, 123, 200–201 fulfillment score, 114, 203 G Gates, Bill, 6–7, 101 gifts cash gift to Grandma, 55 charitable, 96–101 to kids, 89–94 to Morehouse College, 98 go-go, slow-go, no-go years, 54–56 Golden Girls, The, 173, 212m173 golden years, 118–19, 171, 192 Goonies, The (film), 181–82 Grandma and avoiding risk, 189 plastic on furniture, 55 sweater story, 55, 115 H happiness acting on, 4–5 experiences, 13–14 travel, 110 See also fulfillment health and healthcare ability to enjoy experiences based on health, 114, 116, 119, 163, 174 age and diminished enjoyment, 110–17, 133 cancer, 1–3 health curves, 113–14 health goals betting, 125–26 insurance, 57, 59–60, 208m57 preventive care, 59, 125, 133, 174–75 unknown expenses, 56–59 value of, 121–23 weight, impact of, 122–26 Heinrich, Carolyn, 94 honorary billionaire, 6 I inertia, See autopilot inheritance, children’s afterthought or caring, 77–78, 83–84 age and timing of, 49–50, 79–82, 86–89, 99–101, 207m50 educational savings plan (529 plan), 89 give while you are alive, 78–79, 169 “in vivo” transfers, 83, 85 Probability of Inheritance Receipt, 81 randomness, 80–81, 83–84 insurance alien robot invasion insurance, 57 annuities, 65–67 health insurance, 57, 59–60, 208m57 life insurance, 65 long-term care insurance, 59, 85 you are not a good insurance agent, 65–69 investing in experiences, 19–37 in human capital, 27 return on experience versus return on equity, 33 iPad full of memories (gift), 23 J Jeopardy, 115, 173, 212m173 Joe Nose-to-the-Grindstone and Sue Spendy, 16 J.P.

Morgan Asset Management, 56 K kids inheritance and legacy, 77–101 See also children king of natural gas, See Arnold, John knees and weight, 12, 121, 124 Krakovsky, Marina, 81 L Las Vegas (experienced at different ages), 131 latte factor, 36–37, 206m36 laundry, as example of trading money for time, 126–27 legacy, as memories of you, 89 Levitt, Steven, 104, 108 Lieber, Ron, 66 life choices, 21–22 Life-Cycle Hypothesis (LCH), 46 life energy, 155 financial understanding, 43–46 and origins of life, 205m16 processing, 16–17 spending-saving ratio and, 107–8 underspending and, 71 wasting, 43–47 life enjoyment, 70–71, 88 See also balance: health, money, time life expectancy calculation, 61–63, 87, 158 Actuaries Longevity Illustrator, 63 Living to 100 calculator, 64 risk tolerance, 68–69 LifeSpan (clinic), 14 life stages, 135–36 mini-deaths, 137, 141 windows of opportunity, 137–39 lifestyle and spending, 169–70 living as if today is your last day, 73–74 longevity risk, 64–65, 67–68 love of your job as excuse for not dying with zero, 47–49 and retirement, 167 M Mario (and extra lives), 49 Maroon 5 (band), 41 marshmallow test, 130 Matrix, The (film), 11 maximizing lifetime fulfillment as complex optimization problem, 17 as life goal, 7–26 in contrast to maximizing your wealth, 70 medical expenses, See health and healthcare Medicare and Social Security, 164–65 memories acquisition of, 22–23 best vacation, 30 children and parents, 90–93 photo albums, 29 memory dividend, 13, 26–34, 37, 90, 92, 105, 179, 186 Merchant, Natalie, 151–52 MicroSolutions, 178 mini-deaths, 136–38 Mischel, Walter, 130 Modigliani, Franco, 46 mortality risk, 64–65 movement is life, 16, 124 moving for work, 184–87 myopia, See short-term rewards N nest egg, optimal time to crack, 165–67 net worth defined, 154 median, 51–52 New York Times, 66, 95 no-go years, 54–56, 173 O once-in-a-lifetime experiences, 22, 105, 131 optimization, See maximizing lifetime fulfillment P peak (net worth), 149–76 Accumulation of Net Worth, 166 age of, 167 Declining Utility of Money with Age, 163 lifetime net worth, 154–56, 165–66 “phased retirement,” 171 peak utility of money, 86 pensioners’ spending, 54 personal interest rate, 128–30 Pew Charitable Trusts, 164 philanthropy, See charity pickleball, 125 plastic on furniture, 55–56 Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, 135–36 precautionary saving, 58 prop bets, 125–26 Q quantifying the fear, 184–87 R real estate investments, 32–33 regrets, 71, 138–41 relationships maintaining after moving, 184–85 paying for friends to share experiences, 150 See also Kids Renna, Chris, 14–15 resources, exchange of abundant for scarce, 120 retirement go-go, slow-go, no-go years, 54–56 involuntary, 164–65 memories in, 23, 33 “phased retirement,” 171 saving for, 23–24, 161–62 spending in, 52–54 See also annuities; savings threshold Richey, Cooper, 72 risk tolerance, 68–69, 188–89 Robins, Vicki, 10 Ruffo, Jason, 19–21, 29 rules balance rules, limitation of 106–7 number 1 (maximize), 1 number 2 (invest in experiences), 19 number 3 (die with zero), 39 number 4 (available tools), 61 number 5 (children and charity), 77 number 6 (autopilot), 103 number 7 (distinct seasons), 135 number 8 (stop growing wealth), 149 number 9 (biggest risks), 177 of thumb (compared to maximizing), 201 See also 50-30-20 rule S savings or spending age and timing of, 103–4 Balanced Money Formula, 106–10 heedless spending, 105–6 Median Net Worth by Age, 51 net worth, 51–52 personal finance advice, 106–7 stages of life and, 107–9, 115–17, 119, 192 savings threshold, 156–60 Scheinkman, José, 104 Schwartz, Andy, 169–70 Shefrin, Hersh, 47 short-term rewards, 46 simulations of earning and spending scenarios, 165–66 skiing, 94, 111–12 Smith, Robert F., 98 smoking, 42, 62, 114 Social Security, 43, 45, 164–65 Society of Actuaries, 63 Soggy Dollar Bar, 112 Space Invaders, 7 spending money on experiences versus things, 13 Staples, Jaime and Matt, 125–26 Starbucks, 36–37 Statman, Meir, 170 St.


Daughter Detox: Recovering From an Unloving Mother and Reclaiming Your Life by Peg Streep

Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, loss aversion, meta-analysis, Stanford marshmallow experiment, sunk-cost fallacy, Walter Mischel

It will not surprise you that there’s evidence that our childhood experiences—specifically those connected to our mothers—also affect our self-control. To eat the marshmallow or not? That was the dilemma posed by Walter Mischel and his colleagues to a large group of four-year-olds over 50 years ago at Stanford University in an experiment so famous that it’s now known simply as the “Marshmallow Test.” Each child was seated at a desk; there was a single marshmallow on a plate and, beside it, a bell. The researcher then told the child she had to leave and the child was free to eat the marshmallow and ring the bell. But, she promised, if the child waited until she came back, the reward would be a second marshmallow.

TURN DOWN THE HEAT: DEALING WITH REJECTION SENSITIVITY One of the best discussions of rejection sensitivity I’ve read describes it as “hot” reactivity, which is completely emotionally fueled. (Yes, this is the same terminology used in the discussion on how to reframe memories using cool processing.) Ozlem Ayduk and a team that included Walter Mischel (who ran the famous delayed gratification “Marshmallow Test” described on page 103 ) wanted to know if children who had successfully been able to delay gratification would actually be more skilled at managing rejection sensitivity. You may remember that the children who managed to resist the marshmallow did so by distracting themselves—looking away, singing, staring into the distance, whatever worked.

Review of General Psychology , 2005, vol. 9(2), pp. 111-131. Mayer, John D., and Peter Salovey, What is Emotional Intelligence?, in Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications , edited by Peter Salovey and David J. Sluyter. New York: Basic Books, 1997. Mischel, Walter. The Marshmallow Test: Why Self-Control Is the Engine of Success . New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2015. Shoda, Yuichi, Walter Mischel, and Philip K. Peake. Predicting Adolescent Cognitive and Self-Regulatory Competencies from Preschool Delay of Gratification: Identifying Diagnostic Conditions. Developmental Psychology , 1990, vol. 26(6), pp. 978-986. 5.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, assortative mating, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, business cycle, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, different worldview, double helix, Downton Abbey, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, the strength of weak ties, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

NORTON & COMPANY New York | London For Kathryn Contents Introduction: From One Queen City to the Next Part 1: Rumblings 1 THE WARNING 2 THE THIRD WAVE 3 THE CHINATOWN BUS EFFECT 4 THE BIG CLIMB 5 CONFORMITY COMES FULL CIRCLE Part 2: The Missing Rings 6 A BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICAN COMMUNITY 7 BANDS, VILLAGES, AND TRIBES 8 THE SEARCH FOR AFFIRMATION 9 THE MISSING RINGS 10 EXIT TOCQUEVILLE 11 AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT Part 3: America Explained 12 VALUABLE INEFFICIENCY 13 THE ROOTS OF DELIBERATION 14 THE GIANT SUCKING SOUND 15 THE MARSHMALLOW TEST CONCLUSION: THE CRISIS OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM Acknowledgments Notes Index Introduction FROM ONE QUEEN CITY TO THE NEXT Beyond wondering whether our new family room would have enough shelving to store all my toys, I wasn’t particularly alarmed when Mom and Dad announced in the summer of 1984 that we’d be moving from Cincinnati to Buffalo.

But rather than bicker endlessly about how to balance the books, we need to think creatively about how the transformation of American community has exacerbated the crisis, and how adjusting our institutions to our new social architecture can play a crucial role in shaping a long-term solution. 15 THE MARSHMALLOW TEST As we’ve seen, there’s very little to be gained by arguing over whether the transformation of American community is good or bad. The shift has happened and we need to adjust. The last chapter argued that the institutions that seem so feckless today will have to adapt to the new rhythms of American life.

Beyond the sorts of institutional reforms suggested in the last chapter, there’s a strategy available that might well induce future generations to rebuild the bridges that have disappeared. During the 1960s, Walter Mischel, a psychology professor then on the faculty at Stanford, conceived of a revolutionary experiment designed to measure an individual’s capacity for self-control.1 Conducting what is now known as the “marshmallow test,” he placed a four-year-old and a researcher in a room with an edible treat set on a plate between them. At the outset, the researcher would explain that she needed to run an errand, but would return soon. She would then make clear that during her absence the four-year-old could ring a bell, which would call the researcher back, at which point the child would receive permission to eat the treat.


pages: 1,239 words: 163,625

The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning, Revised and Updated by Gautam Baid

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, backtesting, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, business process, buy and hold, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Everything should be made as simple as possible, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, follow your passion, framing effect, George Santayana, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, index fund, intangible asset, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive income, passive investing, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, salary depends on his not understanding it, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, six sigma, software as a service, software is eating the world, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, stocks for the long run, sunk-cost fallacy, tail risk, the market place, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, time value of money, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Delayed gratification, which requires second order thinking, is less crowded and more likely to get results. —Shane Parrish In the 1960s, Walter Mischel, an American psychologist specializing in personality theory and social psychology, conducted a famous experiment at Stanford University’s nursery school. In the experiment, now widely known as the Stanford marshmallow experiment, four- and five-year-olds were presented with a difficult choice. They could eat one treat—a marshmallow—immediately, or they could wait fifteen minutes more and be rewarded with two marshmallows. Over the next forty years, the children were included in follow-up studies. It was found that the children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better responses to stress, better social skills as reported by their parents, and better scores on a range of other life measures.


Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity by Brian Hare, Vanessa Woods

Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, desegregation, domesticated silver fox, Donald Trump, drone strike, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, Law of Accelerating Returns, meta-analysis, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, out of africa, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, smart cities, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, white flight, zero-sum game

It is the space between a thought and an action, the look before the leap. Without self-control, we would all be divorced, in prison, or dead. Some people have more self-control than others, and by studying these variations, researchers have demonstrated how central this trait is throughout our lives. One test of self-control is the famous marshmallow test, in which researchers give four- to six-year-old children a marshmallow and tell them they can either eat it right away or wait until the researcher returns and receive more marshmallows. Some children ate the marshmallow immediately, while others waited ten and even fifteen minutes without giving in to the temptation.19 Children who ate the marshmallow right away were more likely to struggle in school, have trouble paying attention, and have difficulty maintaining friendships.

In various studies, when these same children grew up, they were more likely to be overweight, earn less money, and have criminal records.20, 21, 22 Self-control is just as important for nonhuman animals when they make decisions, and some species of animals seem to have more self-control than others. The biologist Evan MacLean and I came up with an easy way to compare levels of self-control between distantly related species—a kind of marshmallow test for animals.23 We put a treat inside a plastic cylinder that was open at both ends but fitted with a cloth that made it opaque. An animal could watch and remember as we placed the food inside. Then, after introducing this simple hiding game, we introduced our self-control test. We changed the cylinder in a way that at first would seem to make the problem easier.

We used the results to test big ideas about what leads some species to be more cognitively sophisticated than others. I thought, as has long been argued, that animals that lived in larger groups—creating more complex social relationships—would require more inhibition to navigate life successfully. Instead, we found that the animals who passed their own marshmallow test simply had brains with more raw computing power. The small-brained animals we tested struggled with self-control, while larger-brained animals mastered the test almost immediately.23 The neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel has a theory that suggests why this might be. Herculano-Houzel was the first person to accurately count the number of neurons in animal brains.


pages: 288 words: 73,297

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease by Marc Lewis Phd

delayed gratification, helicopter parent, impulse control, meta-analysis, Rat Park, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel

The chapter about Alice highlighted ego fatigue, the breakdown of cognitive control when people try to suppress their feelings or block their impulses for some length of time. Both of these psychological vulnerabilities are natural, both are shared with other animals, and both correspond with specific neural events. Now appeal was famously depicted by Walter Mischel’s marshmallow test: three-to-four-year-old children were told they could eat one marshmallow as soon as the examiner left the room, but if they waited a few minutes until she returned, they would have two to eat. Three-year-olds most often gobbled the first marshmallow in no time, thereby losing the opportunity for a second.

See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders dual process model. See horse-and-rider model ecstasy, 49 ego fatigue Alice and, 148, 150–151 Baumeister study of, 149 brain and, 150 conscious attention and, 158–159 emotion repression and, 150 horse-and-rider model and, 156–157 loss of control and, 185–189 marshmallow test and, 184 microcosm of addiction, 157 now appeal and, 151 reframing and, 185 self-control and, 148–149 summarized, 199 suppression and, 185 electrochemical energy, 38 emotion accumbens and, 79, 81–82 amygdala and, 79–80, 81–82 cognition linked with, 81–82 Donna hiding, 99–100 ego fatigue and, 150 habit and, 33–36 habit development and, 35–36 intensity of, 31, 39–40 learning and, 40, 104, 194 medial PFC and, 105–106 negative, 33–34 neurons and, 39–40 OFC and, 40, 81–82, 104, 194 strong, 31 empowerment cognition-based techniques and, 209 learning and, 10 nomenclature and, 16 treatment and, 212–214 environmental factors, 2 Everitt, Barry, 129–130 expectancy, desire and, 174, 175 experience brain and, 30–33 neuroplasticity and, 32–33 psychology and, 168–169 recovery and, 198–203 striatum structured by, 56 strong emotion and, 31 synaptic change, 30, 104, 127 feedback brain and, 30–31, 34–38 growth and, 34–35 habit development and, 35–36 Johnny and, 121–122 personality development and, 36–37 self-organization stemming from, 34 feelings.

development and, 10 emotion and, 40, 104, 194 empowerment and, 10 neuroplasticity and, 194 OFC and, 40, 104, 194 repetition and, 40 Volkow and, 8 left dorsolateral PFC, 186, 187 (fig.), 191 Lilienfeld, S. O., 24 limbic system, 30 lollies, 73–74 love addiction and, 166–168, 176–177, 181–182 brain and, 166–168 disease model and, 168 dopamine and, 166–167 lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 48–49 marshmallow test, 184 Maté, Gabor, 36 maypole metaphor, 127, 157, 182 medial prefrontal cortex (medial PFC), 45 Donna and, 183 location of, 104–105 self-image and emotional goals and, 105–106 social knowledge and, 105–107 two personae and, 106–107 medical science disease model and, 5–6, 18 meditation, 64–65, 200 mental habit, 33 methamphetamine lollies and, 73–74 sleep and, 74–75 See also Brian mice, 82 midbrain, 44 (fig.), 45 dopamine and, 57–58 Mind and Life Institute, 8 Minnesota Model, 13, 14 Mischel, Walter, 184 Mogilner, Alex, 195, 196 (fig.)


pages: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, domesticated silver fox, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Marshmallows The frontal cortex and its increasing connectivity with the rest of the brain anchors the neurobiology of kids’ growing sophistication, most importantly in their capacity to regulate emotions and behavior. The most iconic demonstration of this revolves around an unlikely object—the marshmallow.20 In the 1960s Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel developed the “marshmallow test” to study gratification postponement. A child is presented with a marshmallow. The experimenter says, “I’m going out of the room for a while. You can eat the marshmallow after I leave. But if you wait and don’t eat it until I get back, I’ll give you another marshmallow,” and leaves.

Work by Martha Farah of the University of Pennsylvania, Tom Boyce of UCSF, and others demonstrates something outrageous: By age five, the lower a child’s socioeconomic status, on the average, the (a) higher the basal glucocorticoid levels and/or the more reactive the glucocorticoid stress response, (b) the thinner the frontal cortex and the lower its metabolism, and (c) the poorer the frontal function concerning working memory, emotion regulation, impulse control, and executive decision making; moreover, to achieve equivalent frontal regulation, lower-SES kids must activate more frontal cortex than do higher-SES kids. In addition, childhood poverty impairs maturation of the corpus callosum, a bundle of axonal fibers connecting the two hemispheres and integrating their function. This is so wrong—foolishly pick a poor family to be born into, and by kindergarten, the odds of your succeeding at life’s marshmallow tests are already stacked against you.34 Considerable research focuses on how poverty “gets under the skin.” Some mechanisms are human specific—if you’re poor, you’re more likely to grow up near environmental toxins,*35 in a dangerous neighborhood with more liquor stores than markets selling produce; you’re less likely to attend a good school or have parents with time to read to you.

., “Social Evaluation by Preverbal Infants,” Nat 450 (2007): 557; M. Hoffman, Empathy and Moral Development: Implications for Caring and Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). 20. W. Mischel et al., “Cognitive and Attentional Mechanisms in Delay of Gratification,” JPSP 21 (1972): 204; W. Mischel, The Marshmallow Test: Understanding Self-Control and How to Master It (New York: Bantam Books, 2014); K. McRae et al., “The Development of Emotion Regulation: An fMRI Study of Cognitive Reappraisal in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults,” SCAN 7 (2012): 11; H. Palmeri and R. N. Aslin, “Rational Snacking: Young Children’s Decision-Making on the Marshmallow Task is Moderated by Beliefs About Environmental Reliability,” Cog 126 (2013): 109. 21.


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Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

London: Walter Scott Publishing, 1859. Released on Project Gutenberg, 2011. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/34901/34901-h/34901-h.htm. Miller, Dale, and Michael Ross. “Self-Serving Biases in the Attribution of Causality: Fact or Fiction.” Psychological Bulletin 82, no. 2 (March 1975): 213–25. Mischel, Walter. The Marshmallow Test: Why Self Control Is the Engine of Success. New York: Little, Brown, 2014. Mitchell, Deborah, J. Edward Russo, and Nancy Pennington. “Back to the Future: Temporal Perspective in the Explanation of Events.” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 2, no. 1 (January 1989): 25–38. Morewedge, Carey, Lisa Shu, Daniel Gilbert, and Timothy Wilson.

ConAgra Foods, 228–29 jobs, 41–46 Johnson, Hollyn, 55 Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55 Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 144 Journal of the American Medical Association, 55 judges, 141–44, 147, 148 Jussim, Lee, 146 Kable, Joe, 250n Kahan, Dan, 58, 62–64, 181n Kahn, Herman, 243n Kahneman, Daniel, 12, 14, 36, 52, 61, 181n Katyal, Neal, 140 Kazmaier, Dick, 56–57 Kissinger, Henry, 243n Klein, Gary, 219 Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind (Marcus), 12–13, 52 Kubrick, Stanley, 19 Kurosawa, Akira, 157 language, 52, 197 Late Show with David Letterman, 119–21, 123, 125, 161, 171, 175, 205 lawyers, 28–29, 93, 110, 167, 202, 221, 222 learning, 2–3, 67, 77–78, 80, 82, 105, 108, 110, 113, 115, 116, 169, 173, 231 from experience, 78–80, 82, 88, 89, 91, 93–95 loop in, 80, 84, 120 poker and, 78 by watching, 96–97, 102 Lederer, Howard, 1–2, 101–2, 106, 123–24, 133–34, 161–62, 244n Lederer, Richard, 90n Lerner, Jennifer, 128–29, 132 Lester, Jason, 244n, 248n Letterman, David, 119–21, 123, 125, 161, 171, 175, 205, 248n Life of Lucullus (Plutarch), 160 Lombardi, Vince, 159 loss aversion, 36 low-fat diet, 54–55, 62, 85–86, 164–65 luck, 4, 7, 10, 11, 21, 22, 34, 35, 46, 79–80, 82, 86–92, 94–98, 101, 102, 110, 111, 113, 121, 123, 124, 129–31, 194, 205 skill vs., 82–85 Ludwig, David, 54–55 Lynch, Marshawn, 5, 7, 217n Lyubomirsky, Sonja, 104 MacCoun, Robert, 90, 166, 168 Madden, John, 159 Maddon, Joe, 100 Magriel, Paul, 244n Marcus, Gary, 12–13, 52 Marshmallow Test, 181n–82n math skills, 64, 181n Matrix, The, 122–23, 175–76 Mauboussin, Michael, 83n Maxwell, James Clerk, 27 Medical Daily, 49 mental contrasting, 223 Merrill Edge, 185 Merton, Robert C., 153 Merton, Robert K., 151, 153–55 Meserve, Russell, 62 Mickelson, Phil, 109, 247n Microsoft, 150 Mill, John Stuart, 137, 140, 163, 169 Mischel, Walter, 181n–82n misconceptions, common, 49 Mitchell, Deborah, 219 Monday Morning Quarterback, 7, 8, 229 Montag, Heidi, 119–20 Morgenstern, Oskar, 19, 23 Morris, Benjamin, 6 motivated reasoning, 59–61, 63–64, 94, 102, 108, 115, 132, 136, 181n, 206 MTV, 119–21 Müller-Lyer illusion, 14–15 Myerson, Roger, 19–20 Nabisco, 85, 86 nails, 197 narratives, 60–62, 95–96, 105, 107–9, 157, 160 Nash, John, 19 National Medal of Science, 154 National Science Foundation, 1 natural selection, 91n–92n, 103 Nature, 166 negotiated settlements, 40, 202 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), 164, 165 New England Patriots, 5–7, 48, 216–18 New York, 218–20 New Yorker, 6, 218–19 New York Times, 140, 143, 153 Nick the Greek, 75–78, 84, 87, 90, 116 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 186, 187, 189 Night Jerry and Morning Jerry, 180–87 Nobel Prize, 12, 19–20, 36, 153, 166, 243n–44n Normandy landings, 208 Obama, Barack, 140, 146 obesity and weight gain, 55, 85–86, 164 Odysseus, 200–201 Oettingen, Gabriele, 223–24 Olmsted, Frederick Law, 220 On Liberty (Mill), 137 Operation Overlord, 208 optimism, 226 outcomes, 78–82, 86, 88, 95, 108, 113–14, 134, 166–68, 175, 226, 231 blindness to, 166–67 fielding, 82–85, 87, 89–91, 95, 103, 105, 111–15, 121, 194, 195, 205 negative, preparing for, 189, 226 see also future Pariser, Eli, 61 past, 178, 181, 183, 186 and moving regret in front of decisions, 186–89 see also time travel, mental Pavlov, Ivan, 107–8, 134 peer review, 72, 147–50 Pennington, Nancy, 219 Perlmutter, Saul, 166, 168 perspective, 227 Pfizer, 150 physics, 166 pinball, 198 Pleasure of Finding Things Out, The (Feynman), 72n Plutarch, 160 poker, 1–4, 7, 15–18, 28, 30–31, 33, 35, 37–38, 43, 47, 66–67, 75, 81–82, 90–91, 101–3, 105–6, 111, 115, 116, 123–24, 129, 167, 219, 231 belief formation and, 53 chess vs., 20–23, 80, 244n decisions in, 116, 167, 179, 180, 188, 196–98 diversity of opinions and, 139 learning and, 78 long hours of playing, 188–89 loss limits in, 136–37, 187 napkin list of hands in, 101–2, 161–62 possible futures and, 211 scoreboard in, 196 seminars on, 167 six and seven of diamonds in, 53, 59–60, 121 strategic plans and long view in, 179, 180, 200 strategy group for, 124, 126–27, 131, 133–34, 136–37, 155, 167, 174 suited connectors in, 53–54 Texas Hold’em, 53 tilt in, 197–98 time constraints in, 179 tournaments, 241n watching in, 97 workshopping in, 158–59 political beliefs, 63–64, 141–45, 162–63, 205 social psychologists and, 145–47 Pollan, Michael, 85 pollsters, 32, 230–31, 245n Poundstone, William, 19, 246n Powell, Justice, 143 Power of Habit, The (Duhigg), 106–7 Pratt, Spencer, 119–20 precommitments (Ulysses contracts), 200–203, 212, 221 decision swear jar, 204–7 Predictably Irrational (Ariely), 89n prediction markets, 149–50 premortems, 221–26 president-firing decision, 8–11, 33, 43, 48, 158, 229–30 presidential election of 2016, 32–33, 61n, 230–31, 245n Princess Bride, The, 23–26, 244n Princeton Alumni Weekly, 57 Princeton-Dartmouth football game, 56–59 Prisoner’s Dilemma (Poundstone), 19, 246n privacy, 157 Prospect Theory, 36 Prudential Retirement, 185 psychology, 145–47, 149 Pulitzer, Joseph, 60 p-values, 72 Rashomon, 157 Rashomon Effect, 157–58 rationality and irrationality, 11, 43, 51, 64, 181n, 183, 204 Ulysses contracts and, 201, 203 words, phrases, and thoughts that signal irrationality, 204–7 rats, 87 reconnaissance, 207–12, 218 red teams, 140, 170–71 Reese, Chip, 244n reflexive mind, 12–14, 16, 181n regret, 186–89, 212, 225, 230 Rehnquist, Justice, 143 Reiner, Rob, 244n relationships, 195, 196, 199, 223 relocating, 38–43, 45, 46 Reproducibility Project: Psychology, 149–50 resulting, 7–11, 26, 166 Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation (Oettingen), 223 retirement, 182, 184–86, 203 Righteous Mind, The: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion (Haidt), 129–30 risk, 20, 34, 39, 42–44, 46–47, 66, 111, 179 Roberts, Justice, 143 Russo, J.

If we get out of reflexive mind, however, we can reduce the likelihood of emotionally driven decisions and decrease the influence of bias through self-reflection and vigilance. One way to do this is to take advantage of mental time-travel strategies. * From four-year-olds to adults, temporal discounting is a universal issue. The most famous experiment about the difficulty (and importance) of being patient, known as the Marshmallow Test, was performed by professor Walter Mischel and colleagues at Stanford starting in the early 1960s. At Stanford’s Bing Nursery School, they offered children a choice between a smaller reward (like one marshmallow) that they could have immediately, or a larger reward (like two marshmallows) if they were willing to wait, alone, for up to twenty minutes.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

A world of instantaneous messaging and simultaneous multi-viewing, of data on demand but without analysis, can, if we are not careful, lead to a shallow and self-centred take on the world, a Twittering world where no one has the concentration or time to take in more than a paragraph. Living in the present is all very well, but if we fail the Marshmallow Test we will short-change our future. Walter Mischel, a leading expert on self-control, devised the Marshmallow Test almost 50 years ago. In an empty room he presented young children with a choice: take one marshmallow now or wait a while and have two. It was a test of deferred gratification. After observing the later lives of the children he was convinced that deferred gratification was crucial to a successful life, to better social functioning and to a greater sense of self-worth.


pages: 179 words: 59,704

Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

"side hustle", Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, buy and hold, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, index fund, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, McMansion, mortgage debt, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, universal basic income, working poor

In the unfurling of this personal frugality boot camp, Nate and I made the discovery that we were both second-marshmallow kids. Not literally, as we weren’t lucky enough to be actual subjects in this research experiment, but we fall into a category of people wired from an early age for delayed gratification. You’ve probably heard of what’s often referred to as the Stanford marshmallow study of the ’60s and ’70s, in which preschoolers underwent a now-classic test in delayed gratification. In this experiment, researchers sat a preschooler at a desk alone in a room, with two marshmallows atop the desk and the following instructions: the researcher needed to leave the room for a moment and the child could either eat one marshmallow while the researcher was absent or, if the child could wait until the researcher returned, the child could eat both marshmallows.


pages: 121 words: 31,813

The Art of Execution: How the World's Best Investors Get It Wrong and Still Make Millions by Lee Freeman-Shor

Black Swan, buy and hold, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, family office, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Skype, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, tulip mania, zero-sum game

As a professional investor, I can tell you that clients are no different. Having entrusted you with their hard-earned money, they can get seriously annoyed when you persist in holding onto a stock that has made a nice profit. It gets even more awkward if that profit retraces its steps at some point. Faced with the marshmallow test of the previous chapter, the Connoisseurs had a simple way round it. These investors knew that they could not resist the temptation to eat what was put in front of them. Their strategy was therefore to take a small bite and leave some for later, extending and maximising the pleasure of success as long as possible.


pages: 288 words: 85,073

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund

animal electricity, clean water, colonial rule, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), jimmy wales, linked data, lone genius, microcredit, purchasing power parity, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, Thomas L Friedman, Walter Mischel

Some of the books that completely changed our thinking about the mind and about how we should teach facts about the world are: Dan Ariely, Predictably Irrational (2008), The Upside of Irrationality (2010), and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty (2012); Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works (1997), The Stuff of Thought (2007), The Blank Slate (2002), and The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011); Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) (2007); Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011); Walter Mischel, The Marshmallow Test (2014); Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner, Superforecasting (2015); Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal (2012); Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis (2006) and The Righteous Mind (2012); and Thomas Gilovich, How We Know What Isn’t So (1991). Chapter One: The Gap Instinct Child mortality.

Filipa Ribeiro da Silva’s version revised by Jonathan Fink-Jensen, updated April 29, 2015. https://www.clio-infra.eu/Indicators/TotalPopulation.html. Magnus & Pia. Mino’s parents. McEvedy, Colin, and Richard Jones. Atlas of World Population History. New York: Facts on File, 1978. As cited in US Census Bureau. gapm.io/x-pophist. Mischel, Walter. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-control. New York: Little, Brown, 2014. Music Trades. “The Annual Census of the Music Industries.” 2016. http://www.musictrades.com/census.html. Myrskylä, M., H. P. Kohler, and F. Billari. “Advances in Development Reverse Fertility Declines.” Nature 460, No. 6 (2009): 741–43.


pages: 315 words: 81,433

A Life Less Throwaway: The Lost Art of Buying for Life by Tara Button

clean water, collaborative consumption, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, Downton Abbey, hedonic treadmill, Internet of things, Kickstarter, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, meta-analysis, period drama, Rana Plaza, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, thinkpad

If you can’t pay for it within a year, or without putting a strain on your income, go back to ranking the criteria you’ve set and find a product you can afford. HOW TO AVOID IMPULSE BUYING Remember that Haribo advert with the children who had to resist the sweets laid out in front of them? What’s interesting (and slightly ironic) is that this ad was based on a real Sixties experiment about willpower. It is now commonly known as the ‘Marshmallow Test’. It found that the kids who resisted the marshmallow in order to win another ended up with better SAT scores, were slimmer and had more self-worth in the future.2 Being able to delay gratification for a bigger prize in the future seems to be the key to many of the things we want – so all those Haribo kids failed!

A Comparative Investigation of the Emotional Nature of Brand and Interpersonal Love’, Psychology and Marketing, 32: 6 (2015), 624–34. CHAPTER 10: TAKING STOCK 1.Evan Zislis, ClutterFree Revolution (Juniper Press, 2015), 52. CHAPTER 11: BEFORE YOU SHOP 1.http://www.statisticbrain.com/average-daily-activities/. 2.W. Mischel, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering self-control (Little, Brown and Company, 2014). 3.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-03-21/shoppers-mobile-blinders-force-checkout-aisle-changes. 4.Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business (Random House, 2012). 5.Ann Widdecombe to the Rescue!


pages: 302 words: 87,776

Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dr. Dan Ariely, Jeff Kreisler

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, bitcoin, Burning Man, collateralized debt obligation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, endowment effect, experimental economics, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, impact investing, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, mobile money, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Thaler, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Uber for X, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

It’s because we tend to value certain things right now in the present much more highly than we value them in the future. Something that’s great for us—but won’t arrive for days, weeks, months, or years—isn’t as valuable to us as something that’s only okay for us but is available right now. The future simply doesn’t tempt us as much as the present does. In his famous marshmallow test, Walter Mischel left four- and five-year-old children alone, each with a single marshmallow. He told each child that if they did not touch the marshmallow for a short time, someone would bring them a second marshmallow—but only if they didn’t touch the first one now. Most kids gobbled up their marshmallow right away, and never got to enjoy the second one.

,” 205–6 honeymoon experience, 61–65, 69–71, 75 marriage proposal, 126 shopping for Optimum Slim cereal, 30 traveling with his family, 45, 55 unfulfilled friend’s party, 38 windfall hypothesis, 195 labor market in “sharing” economy, 160 Lambrecht, Anja, 33 Lanchester, John, 162 Langer, Ellen, 114 language, 149–66 overview, 154–55, 214–16, 220 adding value with rituals, 163–66, 179–80, 214–16, 220 choices based on descriptions vs. items, 153–56 consumption enhancement, 156–59, 163 double talk, 161–62 and expectations, 179–80 ignoring vs. immersing in, 149–52 language and fairness, 159–60 and restaurants, 150–55 sharing economy, 160–61 transformative ability of language, 162–63 Las Vegas, Nevada, 45–46 Levav, Jonathan, 50–51 listing price effect on Realtors’ estimates, 93–95, 98, 103 locksmith’s value, x, 133, 137, 140, 146 Loewenstein, George, 67, 77, 106–8, 191–92 loss aversion overview, 120–23 app for combating, 241 and employer’s retirement matching funds, 243 and investments, 123–25, 249 and Netflix new pricing scheme, 138, 138n overvaluing what we own, 219 and positive outcomes, 246–47 luxury items and resorts estate worth tens of millions, 119 prepaying vs. ala carte, 61–62, 69–70, 75–77, 228 relative price vs. real price, 29 malleable mental accounting, 53–54, 55 manipulation advertising copywriter skills, 119 new box and new price (same as old price), 30–31 pricing high to create excitement by lowering it, 104 self-manipulation, 221, 233 and transparency, 146–47, 220 winemakers and language manipulation, 151, 154–55, 162, 221 See also pricing Mansfield, Rob, 183–85, 190–91, 232 marshmallow test, 186 Martin, Jane, 41–43, 56 McGraw, Pete, 50–51 measurability, 24–25, 201, 204–5 Mencken, H. L., 24 mental accounting, 41–60 overview, 42–45, 59–60, 217, 254–55 and budgets, 43, 44–46, 52–53 cheating ourselves, 56–57, 58, 59 corporate accounting compared to, 51–52 and delayed consumption, 57–59 emotional accounting vs., 50–51 examples of, 41–42, 43–44, 45–46 and feelings about money, 49–51 integrative creative accounting, 55–56 as irrational and useful strategy, 47–49, 53 malleable mental accounting, 53–54, 55 and self-control, 193 spending a windfall, 55–57, 58, 195, 250–51 mental activities, effect of expectations on, 173–74 Mindless Eating (Wansink), 27–28, 192–93 Mischel, Walter, 186 misclassification and cheating ourselves, 56–57 mistakes.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, hockey-stick growth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, selling pickaxes during a gold rush, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

“We’re giving up cafeteria food for ramen. Not much different.” For Wu, the decision to come to YC has meant turning away from Facebook and others in the Valley, which offer generous salaries, stock options priced at pre-IPO levels, and other goodies.6 She says her situation brings to mind the famous marshmallow experiment, done at Stanford’s Bing Nursery School in the 1970s, which tested the ability of young children to exercise self-restraint. The subjects were told that if they resisted the temptation to eat one marshmallow while the researcher stepped out of the room, they would receive a second one. Those who did well in the test later thrived broadly as they reached adolescence and then adulthood.


pages: 416 words: 106,582

This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman

23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, Garrett Hardin, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

At the time, psychologists assumed that the ability to delay gratification in order to get that second marshmallow or cookie depended on willpower. Some people simply had more willpower than others, which allowed them to resist tempting sweets and save money for retirement. However, after watching hundreds of kids participate in the marshmallow experiment, Mischel concluded that this standard model was wrong. He came to realize that willpower was inherently weak and that children who tried to postpone the treat—gritting their teeth in the face of temptation—soon lost the battle, often within thirty seconds. Instead, Mischel discovered something interesting when he studied the tiny percentage of kids who could successfully wait for the second treat.

Eliot), 293 Little Red Riding Hood, 180–81 Lloyd, Seth, 65–67 Lobachevsky, Nikolai, 109 Locke, John, 146 logic, 113, 355 Lombrozo, Tania, 336–37 Looking for Generators, 277 Lorenz, Konrad, 160 Loughner, Jared, 279 Lovelock, James, 15 luck, 105, 106–7 Lucretius, 9 Lysenko, Trofim, 88 Mach, Ernst, 85 magnesium, 360 magnitude, 12, 162, 182, 185, 186 malaria, 125 Maldacena, Juan, 297, 299 management theory, 186 Mandelbrot, Benoit, xxvi, 246, 326 Marcus, Gary, 39–40 Margulis, Lynn, 15 marketers, 50 Markus, Hazel Rose, 367–70 Marler, Peter, 154 Mars, 13, 179, 292, 360 Marshall, Barry, 240 marshmallow experiment, 46–47, 48 Martindale, Colin, 129, 130–31 mathematics, 355–56 McClintock, Barbara, 240–41 McCrum, Robert, 286 McLuhan, Marshall, 41 McWhorter, John, 285–88 measurement, 340–42 media, 41 medicine, 51 clinical trials in, 26, 44, 56 health care policies, 50, 67, 204, 233–34, 259–60, 387 physicians in, 36 terms used in, 63 mediocrity principle, 6–8, 11, 12 Mednick, Sarnoff, 101 memes, 180–81, 183, 242 memory, computer, 39–40 memory, human, 39–40, 82, 154, 376–77 cognitive load and, 116–17 Einstein’s law of, 252 Internet and, 376–77 lapses in, 116–17 state-dependent, 130 working, 116–17, 251, 252 Mendaña, Álvaro de, 361 Mendel, Gregor, 165 menstrual cycle, 351 mental garbage, 395–97 mental illness, 232–34, 279, 368, 369 Merton, Robert, 102, 110, 372 meta-induction from the history of science, 30–31 Metzinger, Thomas, 214 Mexico, 345 Michelson, A.


pages: 375 words: 105,067

Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen

American ideology, asset allocation, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, buy and hold, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, post-work, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stocks for the long run, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise

Other segments in For Me, For You feature personal finance guru Beth Kobliner, talking to Elmo about setting up jars with money divided into saving, spending, and charity categories. The segments are all about the benefits of planning and delayed gratification. This is one of the other newest ideas in the world of financial literacy and it is based, at least in part, on the infamous marshmallow experiment. Way back in the 1970s, a researcher at Stanford University decided to test the willpower of a bunch of preschoolers. He recruited several hundred four- to six-year-olds (or, more likely, their parents) and, one by one, put them in a room with a marshmallow, cookie, or pretzel. He then left the room, but not before telling them that if they ate the treat before he returned, that would be all they got.

., 200–201 Lloyd, Felix Brandon, 205–6 lobbying groups, 87–88, 99–100, 110, 200, 218 Lockyer, Bill, 100–101 Loibl, Cäzilia, 165 Lucas, Lori, 88 Lucht, Tracy, 16 Lundy, Jeff, 57 Lusardi, Annamaria, 159, 198 Mackay, Harvey, 34 Mad Money (CNBC), 143–47 Mahar, Maggie, 95 Malkiel, Burton, 33 Mamudi, Sam, 95 Mandell, Lew, 201, 207–8 Marquis, Milton, 83 marshmallow experiment, 211–12 Mathisen, Tyler, 82 McCarthy, Carolyn, 111 McGee, Micki, 33, 47 McGinn, Daniel, 179 McInturff, Bill, 75–76 McKenna, Laura, 27 medical expenses, 58, 59–60, 61 Mellan, Olivia, 227 Merrill Lynch, 162–63, 167, 213 Michelman, Kate, 59–60 Middle Class Millionaire, The (Prince and Schiff), 56 Miller, George, 100 Miller, Maurice Lim, 223 Millionaire Next Door, The (Stanley and Danko), 54 Mitchell, Olivia, 159, 198 Money Island game, 205–6 Money Makeover series, 1–2, 4 Money Navigator newsletter (Orman), 44–46 MoneyShow, 127–28, 134–37 Mooney, David, 109 Moore, Michael, 41 mortgage debt, 174–75, 176–77, 193 Mullainathan, Sendhil, 107–8, 116, 162, 166, 228 mutual funds.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional

., The Reflexive Imperative (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 3Kahneman, D., Thinking Fast and Slow (Penguin, 2011). 4Heffernan, M., Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril (Simon & Schuster, 2011). 5Eliot, T. S., Four Quartets (Harcourt, 1943). 6The original experiments on delayed gratification took place at Stanford in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mischel, W., The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Bantam Press, 2014). 7Dweck, C., Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Random House, 2006). 8Zhenghao, C., Alcorn, B., Christensen, C., Eriksson, N., Koller, D. and Emanuel, E. J., ‘Who’s Benefiting from MOOCs, and Why’, Harvard Business Review (September 2015). 9Sebastian Thun, a former Stanford University professor, vice president of Google and founder of online educational company Udacity, puts it well: ‘The education system is based on a framework from the 17th and 18th century that says we should play for the first five years of life, then learn, then work, then rest and then die.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, Upton Sinclair

Make it so you don’t have to fake it—that’s they key. Can you imagine a doctor trying to get by with anything less? Or a quarterback, or a bull rider? More to the point, would you want them to? So why would you try otherwise? Every time you sit down to work, remind yourself: I am delaying gratification by doing this. I am passing the marshmallow test. I am earning what my ambition burns for. I am making an investment in myself instead of in my ego. Give yourself a little credit for this choice, but not so much, because you’ve got to get back to the task at hand: practicing, working, improving. Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors.


pages: 342 words: 94,762

Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy

algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta-analysis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel

Much of that interest was stoked by a widely publicized series of experiments at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School, where researchers presented four-year-old children with one marshmallow and gave them a choice: eat the marshmallow right away or wait fifteen minutes and get two marshmallows instead. They tested these children later in life and found that those who were able to delay gratification performed better on standardized tests in high school, were less prone to impulsive behavior, and were more likely to become emotionally well-adjusted adults.23 Since those tests, researchers have found, again and again, that children who can delay their reactions end up happier and more successful than their snap-reacting playmates: they are superior at building social skills, feeling empathy, and resolving conflicts, and they have higher cognitive ability.24 Kids with good preschool-age delay skills have higher self-esteem later in life, cope better with stress, are less likely to use cocaine and crack, and aren’t as fat.25 Children who can decide to wait do better.

Blogs such as Raising CEO Kids and Growing Rich Kids advise how to teach children about the pecuniary blessings of delayed gratification. Some parents have taken to rewarding good behavior not with immediate praise or presents but with tickets that are redeemable only at a later date. Yet concluding that children are better off delaying gratification doesn’t tell us why waiting is so much easier for some than others. The marshmallow tests might be widely known, but their results are not well understood. Although we have some understanding of the brain regions that are triggered by these kinds of tests, we don’t really know whether some four-year-olds are naturally able to wait fifteen minutes to get a second marshmallow and therefore do better in life, or whether we can save impatient children by training them to delay gratification for a few extra minutes.


pages: 796 words: 223,275

The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, charter city, cognitive dissonance, Columbian Exchange, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, discovery of the americas, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, epigenetics, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, fundamental attribution error, glass ceiling, income inequality, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, land reform, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, Republic of Letters, rolodex, social web, spinning jenny, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Stanford marshmallow experiment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, ultimatum game, wikimedia commons, working-age population, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Among eighth graders, for example, the less they discounted the future (picked the delayed choice, B) in the fall of the school year, the higher their grades and achievement test scores were at the end of that year. In fact, although both matter, patience was more important than IQ in predicting scholastic achievement. Notably, recent work has confirmed the ability of the marshmallow test to predict later scholastic achievement (Watts, Duncan, and Quan, 2018). However, this work appears to challenge the results by including a broad range of control variables. These controls capture many of the avenues through which culture shapes people’s patience, including the social context experienced by the child, the home environment, and the participant’s parents’ patience.

., Bulbulia, J., and Gray, R. D. (2015). Broad supernatural punishment but not moralizing high gods precede the evolution of political complexity in Austronesia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1804), 20142556. Watts, T. W., Duncan, G. J., and Quan, H. (2018). Revisiting the marshmallow test: A conceptual replication investigating links between early delay of gratification and later outcomes. Psychological Science 29 (7), 1159–77. Weber, M. (1958a). The City. New York: Free Press. Weber, M. (1958b). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribner. Weber, M. (1978).


pages: 351 words: 100,791

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction by Matthew B. Crawford

airport security, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, digital Maoism, Google Glasses, hive mind, index card, informal economy, Jaron Lanier, large denomination, new economy, new new economy, Norman Mailer, online collectivism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Stanford marshmallow experiment, the built environment, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

death instinct in design intention in duration of Leap Frog Learning Table and libertarians and loyalty clubs for motorcycling compared with pathological in Pennsylvania productivity of regulation of renamed “gaming” speed of as tax on low-income people magic Mailer, Norman Manhattan Project manufactured certainties manufacturing Maoism Maria (gambler) marketplace Márquez, Marc marriage marshmallow test martial arts massification Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Masterless, The (McClay) McClay, Wilfred McCulloch, Warren McDonald’s McDowell, John mechanization, of instruction Mediated (de Zengotita) Meditations on First Philosophy (Descartes) memory attention vs. autobiographical Mercedes meritocracy Merleau-Ponty, Maurice metacognition metaphysics of freedom Mickey Mouse Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mill, John Stuart mind as computer Enlightenment ideas of existence of Mischel, Walter MIT Glass Lab Mole, Christopher monogamy Monticello mood moral autism morality, Kant’s radicalization of motivations MotoGP motorcycles, motorcycling alert watchfulness without meddling when riding on ice hockey vs. riding on learning to ride mechanics for on racetrack vs. streets self-criticism while on speed while on Muir, John multimodal interfaces Murdoch, Iris muscle memory music, musicians Muzak narcissism objects treated as props in narrative self-articulation Native Americans naturalistic psychology negative affordances neoconservatives neoliberalism neural plasticity neuroethics neurotransmitters Nevada Newton, Isaac Newtonian nature Nietzsche, Friedrich Noë, Alva no-fault divorce norms justification and North Korea novelty NPR Nudge (Sunstein and Thaler) nudging jigging vs.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, Garrett Hardin, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Herbert Marcuse, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Aside from intelligence, no other trait augurs as well for a healthy and successful life.92 Walter Mischel began his studies of delay of gratification (in which he gave children the choice between one marshmallow now and two marshmallows later) in the late 1960s, and he followed the children as they grew up.93 When they were tested a decade later, the ones who had shown greater willpower in the marshmallow test had now turned into adolescents who were better adjusted, attained higher SAT scores, and stayed in school longer. When they were tested one and two decades after that, the patient children had grown into adults who were less likely to use cocaine, had higher self-esteem, had better relationships, were better at handling stress, had fewer symptoms of borderline personality disorder, obtained higher degrees, and earned more money.

The arc of crime in adolescence is the outcome of these inner forces pushing and pulling in different directions.106 Self-control, then, is a stable trait that differentiates one person from another, beginning in early childhood. No one has done the twin and adoption studies that would be needed to show that performance on standard tests of self-control, such as the marshmallow test or the adult equivalent, are heritable. But it’s a good bet that they are, because pretty much every psychological trait has turned out to be partly heritable.107 Self-control is partly correlated with intelligence (with a coefficient of about 0.23 on a scale from–1 to 1), and the two traits depend on the same parts of the brain, though not exactly in the same way.108 Intelligence itself is highly correlated with crime—duller people commit more violent crimes and are more likely to be the victims of a violent crime—and though we can’t rule out the possibility that the effect of self-control is really an effect of intelligence or vice versa, it’s likely that both traits contribute independently to nonviolence.109 Another clue that self-control is heritable is that a syndrome marked by a shortage of self-control, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (which is also linked with delinquency and crime), is among the most heritable of personality traits.110 So far all the evidence that violence is released by a lack of self-control is correlational.

., 2006; Koechlin & Hyafil, 2007; L. Helmuth, “Brain model puts most sophisticated regions front and center,” Science, 302, p. 1133. 91. Limbic and prefrontal responses in batterers: Lee, Chan, & Raine, 2008. 92. Importance of intelligence: Gottfredson, 1997a, 1997b; Neisser et al., 1996. 93. Marshmallow test: Metcalfe & Mischel, 1999; Mischel et al., in press. 94. Shallow discounting and life outcomes: Chabris et al., 2008; Duckworth & Seligman, 2005; Kirby, Winston, & Santiesteban, 2005. 95. Self-reports on self-control: Tangney, Baumeister, & Boone, 2004. 96. Benefits of self-control: Tangney et al., 2004. 97.


Bit Rot by Douglas Coupland

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, bitcoin, Burning Man, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, index card, jimmy wales, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, McJob, Menlo Park, nuclear paranoia, Pepto Bismol, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Ted Kaczynski, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, young professional

However, placing my carry-on bag onto the conveyor belt, I ripped my thumbnail backwards, breaking off a wide swath of the top, and I was suddenly in that magical state of being where I could either (a) chew off the broken part of the thumbnail, most likely ripping out a chunk of the nail in the corner and so causing immense bleeding, stinging and disfigurement that could possibly continue for weeks, or (b) be an adult, wait just a little bit longer and perhaps locate some form of device for safely removing the offending piece of thumbnail. This was a very tough call—sort of like a marshmallow test of delayed gratification. As we all know, nature has programmed human beings to always choose option A, even though it’s by far the stupider choice. So what did I do? I tried to be an adult, and then…I had a brainwave. After my bag had gone through the scanner, and I was standing shoeless on the floor’s rubber padding (a place the security staff dub “the mushroom patch”), I said to the gentleman on the other side of the conveyor belt: “This is a weird request, but here’s the thing: I just ripped off a chunk of my thumbnail but it’s still attached to the thumb, and I know if I remove it with my teeth, it will turn into an unholy bloody painful mess.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

“Practical wisdom” as defined by Schwartz and Sharpe (2010) is very close to the concept of discernment that I am defining in this chapter. 15.With regard to individuals, there is a rich line of research in the psychology of self-control (explored under various names, such as executive function, self-discipline, self-regulation, delay of gratification, and willpower), as well as in its pathological absence (such as akrasia, the breakdown of will, self-defeating behavior, and, in an extreme form, addiction). Academic experts sometimes make fine distinctions between these terms, but the concepts are closely related. Among those who champion the primacy of willpower are Walter Mischel, George Ainslie, and Roy Baumeister. Mischel is best known for his “marshmallow experiment” which demonstrated that young children who were able to delay gratification by giving up an immediate reward for a larger reward later grew up to be more successful in school and life than their peers who were not. See Shoda et al. (1990) and Mischel and Shoda (1995). Baumeister and his colleagues confirm that self-control is a predictor for better health, education, and employment, and further find that greater amounts of it as a character trait appear to confer a consistent advantage in life.


pages: 435 words: 136,906

The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius(tm) by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, fear of failure, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Walter Mischel

Only when we understand how we become victims of our own enthusiasm can we come to grips with the fact that our energy reserves are not bottomless. We must admit that our legendary verve can leave us burned out, and that scurrying about can detour us from realizing our most important dreams. An effective measuring tool for examining reactivity is the “marshmallow test,” devised by Walter Mischel. In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman employs Mischel’s test as a method of measuring the essence of emotional self-regulation: the ability to deny impulse in the service of a goal, whether building a business or pursuing the Stanley Cup. Goleman explains the need for goal-directed self-imposed delay of gratification this way: Just imagine you’re four years old, and someone makes the following proposal: If you’ll wait until after he runs an errand, you can have two marshmallows for a treat.


Alpha Trader by Brent Donnelly

algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, beat the dealer, bitcoin, buy low sell high, Checklist Manifesto, commodity trading advisor, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Thorp, Elliott wave, Elon Musk, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, fixed income, Flash crash, full employment, global pandemic, Gordon Gekko, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, high net worth, hindsight bias, implied volatility, impulse control, Inbox Zero, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, iterative process, law of one price, loss aversion, margin call, market bubble, market microstructure, McMansion, Monty Hall problem, Network effects, paper trading, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, price anchoring, price discovery process, price stability, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, survivorship bias, tail risk, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, very high income, yield curve, you are the product, zero-sum game

Start small and keep improving every day. Another hot topic in the world of education is grit. Grit, perseverance, mental endurance If you have kids, you have probably been bombarded with articles and parent coffees and TED Talks about building grit in your children. Fail early and fail fast and fail often and the marshmallow test and all that. Here is how Angela Duckworth, who popularized the term “grit”, defines it50: Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals. One way to think about grit is to consider what grit isn’t. Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something.


pages: 201 words: 60,431

Long Game: How Long-Term Thinker Shorthb by Dorie Clark

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, buy low sell high, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, Google X / Alphabet X, hedonic treadmill, Jeff Bezos, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, Lean Startup, minimum viable product, passive income, pre–internet, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Levy, the strength of weak ties, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

When it comes to resisting short-term temptations (I’m going to eat that piece of cake or have a second drink), the trick is to “cool” the impulse by, as Konnikova recounts, “putting the object at an imaginary distance (a photograph isn’t a treat) or by reframing it (picturing marshmallows as clouds, not candy). Focusing on a completely unrelated experience can also work, as can any technique that successfully switches your attention.” That’s great for avoiding extra pounds. But the process is obviously a bit different for forcing ourselves to do workplace activities that are important in the long term—write articles, study for an extra certification, attend a networking event—but feel painful or burdensome in the moment.


pages: 190 words: 50,133

pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, impact investing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, uber lyft, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Then I offered my final provocation: “You do realize that you just had more fun removing and replacing ping-pong balls from a bucket than you do on a regular day at work.” They laughed. “How we work matters, doesn’t it?” If you’re willing to search, there are games and activities for learning or unlearning almost anything. Enemy/Defender, an improv game, shows us how simple rules can create complex behavior. The Marshmallow Challenge highlights the importance of testing and learning. The Cynefin Lego Game illustrates, in a hands-on way, the difference between simple, complicated, and complex systems. An Identity Walk can shine a light on diversity and privilege in a way that cuts deeper than any presentation on inclusion or unconscious bias.


pages: 193 words: 51,445

Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon by Fodor's

Columbine, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Works Progress Administration



Yellowstone & Grand Teton by Fodor's

Stanford marshmallow experiment, Works Progress Administration


pages: 297 words: 83,528

The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

cryptocurrency, family office, glass ceiling, high net worth, index card, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stealth mode startup, the High Line

“I just said I could code an algorithm that would allow people to get a kind of Cyrus ritual, you know, a combination of all their things, wrapped up in a little modern package, without the sexism, homophobia, and burning in the fires of hell of actual religion.” “You know,” Jules agreed, “that’s not a bad idea. People might actually go for that.” I shrugged. “It’s up to Cyrus.” “What’s wrong, Cy, you don’t want to be the new messiah?” Outside, the snow continued to fall. Everything was blurry and quiet. “We need marshmallows,” Cyrus said. “Why don’t we do a little experiment,” I suggested. “I can code a mini version of the algorithm, and Cyrus, you can decide if you like it.” “You know what I don’t like about s’mores?” Cyrus said. “The chocolate should be melted. Otherwise it’s just the marshmallow that’s warm, and they’re never hot enough to take the chocolate down.”


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, backpropagation, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game


pages: 446 words: 138,827

What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson

back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, clean water, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, high net worth, job satisfaction, Menlo Park, microcredit, new economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, Stanford marshmallow experiment, telemarketer, traffic fines, young professional

Their black boxes must work under incredible heat, radiation, cold, g-forces, electric pulse, and vibration. They had everything but the Samsonite gorilla to beat up their components. They had a kiln to cook the chips in, a radiation oven of some sort, a centrifugal whirly spinner, a superfreezer, a vacuum to re-create zero gravity, a blowtorch to toast hard drives like marshmallows. Every black box that emerges from this testing can take a beating. Aerospace engineers are obsessed with redundancy and backup systems. They know that metals give, that gears slip, that motors overheat, and they plan for this in their designs. Not everything has to go right for it to work. This obsession shows up in every aspect of their lives.


pages: 455 words: 116,578

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, game design, haute couture, impulse control, index card, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, patient HM, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, telemarketer, Tenerife airport disaster, the strength of weak ties, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, Walter Mischel

Public and charter schools in Philadelphia, Seattle, New York, and elsewhere have started incorporating willpower-strengthening lessons into curriculums. At KIPP, or the “Knowledge Is Power Program”—a collection of charter schools serving low-income students across the nation—teaching self-control is part of the schools’ philosophy. (A KIPP school in Philadelphia gave students shirts proclaiming “Don’t Eat the Marshmallow.”) Many of these schools have dramatically raised students’ test scores.5.12 “That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star,” said Heatherton. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

pages: 733 words: 179,391

Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic trading, Andrei Shleifer, Arthur Eddington, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, bank run, barriers to entry, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Carmen Reinhart, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, diversification, diversified portfolio, double helix, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Ernest Rutherford, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, framing effect, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, housing crisis, incomplete markets, index fund, interest rate derivative, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, martingale, merger arbitrage, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, out of africa, p-value, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, predatory finance, prediction markets, price discovery process, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, RAND corporation, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sam Peltzman, Savings and loan crisis, Shai Danziger, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical arbitrage, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, Thales and the olive presses, The Great Moderation, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, US Airways Flight 1549, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Psychologists have examined the ability of the human brain to defer to the short-term bad in favor of the long-term good, albeit in a much less dramatic fashion than Ralston’s ordeal. Beginning in the late 1960s, the American psychologist Walter Mischel conducted a series of experiments with more than six hundred preschoolers at Stanford University.26 Each toddler was presented a tray of marshmallows and other treats. The child was then given a choice: have a treat immediately, or wait a few minutes while Mischel left the room and when he returned, the child could have two treats. There were a number of experimental variations: for example, sometimes the child was instructed to think about “fun things” or “sad thoughts” while waiting.


pages: 505 words: 142,118

A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp

3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Bear Stearns, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy and hold, buy low sell high, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Edward Thorp, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, Garrett Hardin, George Santayana, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, High speed trading, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, Mason jar, merger arbitrage, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Norbert Wiener, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, tail risk, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the rule of 72, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, Works Progress Administration