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Preschoolers find ways to resist temptation after learning that willpower can be energizing

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Description:
Children's tendency to delay gratification predicts important life outcomes, yet little is known about how to enhance delay of gratification other than by teaching task? specific strategies. The present research investigated the effect of exposing children to a model who experiences the exertion of willpower as energizing. In two experiments, 86 4? to 5?year olds were read a story that represented the exertion of will? power as energizing or a control story before taking part in a delay of gratification task. Children exposed to a storybook character who struggled with waiting, but eventually found it energizing, spontaneously generated more delay strategies, which enhanced delay. By promoting the search for effective strategies, this approach pro? vides a promising direction for efforts to foster self?regulation early in development. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States
State(s):
California

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