One of the most popular psychological experiments today is the marshmallow test as it is funny to observe and it has some serious implications. The experiment, which asks young children to resist eating the marshmallow in front of them in exchange for a better reward later on, suggests that the children who were able to resist temptation are generally the same ones who will end up more successful later in their lives. These are the kids expected to grow up as better students, healthier adults, and more successful professionals.
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More recent studies, however, have revealed that it was not the complete picture. It was true that the children who had good self-control early on had better chances of achieving success. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the children who weren’t able to resist the treat have no chance of ever developing the same level of self-control. The fact is that the environment they grow up in also sets their expectations on what they get out of exercising restraint.
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This highlights the importance of that guidance that educators impart on the young people under their care. These professionals hold a lot of responsibility because, aside from the parents, teachers also have the power to shape the attitudes of the youth. If they don’t do their work properly, then they are hindering the students from developing the right attitude that will help them reach their goals in life.
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Conversely, when they act as good mentors to the young people they teach, they are contributing to the efforts to increase the number of young people who will definitely attain their dreams in the future.
Frank Biden is the founder and president of Cygnus International, LLC, a real estate development and consulting firm. He is also involved in Mavericks High, an educational institution that specializes on providing alternative programs for at-risk and dropout students.