Evidence is not proof: it may not be universal

Even if you’ve nailed down causation, you still haven’t proven a ‘theory of everything’ as the evidence may not apply in a different context. The Marshmallow Studies showed that kids who resist eating a marshmallow do better in life. But they focused on Stanford University children. Kids of less wealthy backgrounds may be better off eating whatever food is available, since it may not be there tomorrow.

Experimenting on WEIRD people

Experimenting on WEIRD people

One of my research fields in behavioural economics, which suggests that people don’t always act in perfectly rational ways. A famous experiment in this field is known as the Ultimatum Game. There are two players, a ‘proposer’ whom we’ll call Amelia, and a ‘responder’, Bilal.
The Marshmallow Study revisited

The Marshmallow Study revisited

One of the most famous psychology experiments conducted on children is the Marshmallow Study. In a 1972 paper, Walter Mischel and co-authors gave three-to-five-year-olds at the Stanford Bing Nursery School a marshmallow. They could eat it now, but if they waited 15 minutes, they’d get a second marshmallow.