Beginning with Adam and Eve, why is it so hard to resist temptation? What makes it easier? Dr. Walter Mischel’s pioneering research on how preschoolers manage to wait for two marshmallows later, rather than settle for just one immediately, has taken the mystery out of willpower and illuminated the mechanisms that enable it. In this lecture, Mischel examines the personal and public policy implications of the marshmallow experiments, and the mind and brain mechanisms that allow us to overcome “the weakness of the will.”
This talk is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series, offered free to the public to enhance understanding of the biology of the mind and the complexity of human behavior. The lectures are hosted by The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University and supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.