In a 1967 experiment, psychologists trained pigeons to peck a red key to get food. (Pigeons were huge back then, research wise!) Then they tested whether the pigeons could learn to delay gratification. They set up the pecking booth so that those pigeons who waited a little longer before pecking the red key would get more food when they chose to peck it.
But the pigeons couldn’t wait.
Delaying gratification is an important life skill. As Walter Mischel showed in a series of groundbreaking studies, children who can delay gratification are more likely to go to college and less likely to end up in jail. If you want to see what this looks like, check out this video… (Read more and view comments at Forbes)