You know the marshmallow test, right?
Some poor kid put in a room with a single marshmallow in front of them, and a choice: eat it now, or resist the temptation for 5 minutes and get a second marshmallow.
Even though the research has been shown to be problematic, it’s illustrative: we so often take short-term, in-the-moment gratification that goes against our long-term interests.
Bina Venkataraman is the editorial page editor of The Boston Globe and a fellow at New America. Before joining the Globe, she served as a senior adviser for climate change innovation in the Obama White House, was the director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and taught in the program on Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. She is the author of a terrific book, The Optimist's Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age.
In our conversation we talk about the power of a vividly imagined future; how to deal with vulnerable decision points; lessons learned from professional poker players; and both the flaws and usefulness of the marshmallow test.
You can meet Bina at writerbina.com or on Twitter @BinaJV to say hello.
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