Origin of marshmallow
OTHER WORDS FROM marshmallowmarsh·mal·low·y, adjective
Words nearby marshmallow
Other definitions for marshmallow (2 of 2)
MORE ABOUT MARSHMALLOW
What is the Marshmallow Test?
Where did the Marshmallow Test come from?
The Marshmallow Test was first administered by psychologist Walter Mischel at Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School in 1960. To study the development of self-control and patience in young children, Mischel devised an experiment, “Attention in Delay of Gratification,” popularly called the Marshmallow Test by the 1990s.
The test placed a choice before children. They could eat a treat—often in the form of a marshmallow but also a pretzel or cookie—before them right away or get two treats if they waited 15 minutes, during which time the experimenter would leave the room and observe.
Some kids ate the marshmallow right away, others couldn’t make it the full waiting period, and about a third earned that second treat. The study showed children hiding their faces, squirming, or engaging in make-believe to help them cope with the temptation.
The Marshmallow Test gained greater recognition after Mischel followed up on his subjects in the 1980–90s, where he found that children who earned the second treat scored significantly higher on their SATs than their counterparts and avoided problems like drug addiction and jail time at greater rates.
Mischel wrote up his research for general audiences in his 2014 book Marshmallow Test, which championed self-control as the key to success.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, in a study published in 2018, researchers Tyler Watts, Greg Duncan, and Hoanan Quan replicated the Marshmallow Test. They found a strong correlation between a child’s socioeconomic status and their early ability to resist the marshmallow.
Their results suggest that the original experiment failed to take into account outside factors such as family background and home environment, with poorer children perhaps less motivated to wait due to the uncertainties and challenges of their everyday lives.
How to use the term Marshmallow Test
The Marshmallow Test comes up in discussions of popular psychology and economics, such as on Freakonomics or in high school or college courses. Sometimes, it’s the subject of humorous observations about adult temptations.
Since 2018, the Marshmallow Test has come under scrutiny for the overpromises or oversights of experiments in social science, including the so-called “replication crisis,” where the results of major and influential studies have been found impossible to replicate.
The marshmallow test is one of the most well-known studies in all of psychology, but a new replication suggests we've been learning the wrong lesson from its findings for decades: https://t.co/sHUrzPXVZO pic.twitter.com/dIz8gBEMIx
— You Are Not So Smart (@notsmartblog) July 3, 2018
I'm not even 100% sure I'd be able to pass the marshmallow test as an adult.
— scott olberding (@isthatsol) July 2, 2018
More examples of marshmallow test:
“The study, published this week in the journal Developmental Psychology, resurrected an experiment that’s become a developmental psychology classic: the so-called marshmallow test.”
—Melissa Healey, The Los Angeles Times, June 2018
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use marshmallow in a sentence
Most people decide it’s simpler just to hang on to the marshmallow they have in their possession and assume the small chance doesn’t arrive.Texas is a reminder: We’re much more willing to pay for cures than prevention|Philip Bump|February 18, 2021|Washington Post
Homemade marshmallows are sticky little buddies, so be sure to coat them on all sides in confectioners’ sugar before serving or storing.
Let the marshmallows cool completely, at least 3 hours and up to overnight, before cutting.
Homemade marshmallows will take your s’mores to the next levelBut you don’t need a fire pit, and, as Ina would say, store-bought marshmallows are fine.
Lately, it’s become my go-to weekend snack thanks to a backyard fire pit and my longtime devotion to homemade marshmallows.
She is everywhere and nowhere, this little marshmallow-headed kitty.Explosion of Cute: Inside the Superfan Mania of Hello Kitty Con 2014|Sarah Bay Williams|November 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Melt butter and marshmallow in big stock pot then add puffed rice cereal.Epic Meal Empire’s Meat Monstrosities: From the Bacon Spider to the Cinnabattleship|Harley Morenstein|July 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
One protest veteran, who asked not to be named, described Barrett as a “marshmallow.”Scott Walker's Last Stand? Democrats Lose Momentum In Wisconsin|Sally Kohn|June 1, 2012|DAILY BEAST
A marriage made in heaven, soft, sweet, marshmallow meringue, melting cream, and a smattering of fruit.
The result is lighter than buttercream but more intense than marshmallow.
Wash, dry and stone fruit; fill with a half marshmallow or blanched almond or chopped nuts and raisins and roll in sugar.The New Dr. Price Cookbook|Anonymous
Sometimes Betsey added a half cup of walnuts or pecans with the marshmallow cream.
The candies in which Betsey put marshmallow cream she considered her "very choicest" as she expressed it.
Bake in layers, and put marshmallow filling between the layers and on top.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4|Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
I wish you saved that, Grace, and gave away the marshmallow; I just love tutti-frutti, declared Cleo.The Girl Scouts at Camp Comalong|Lillian Garis