Chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream, cookies, pie… things we all love (minus those crazy people out there who hate treats), but know we shouldn’t. Unfortunately, research has found that our ability to resist these tempting items is often telling of the success we have in life (of course in their studies they rewarded self-control with extra treats so I guess in actuality our success in life comes down to our ability to resist treats if it means we get more in the future).

If you ever want to get a good prediction on how your child is likely to perform in his academic future, simply recreate the famous “marshmallow test.” This test was originally created to study children’s ability to practice self-control.

40 years ago researchers placed children from Stanford’s Bing Nursery School in a room with one marshmallow and told them that if they could wait 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow they would earn an additional marshmallow. This simple test has produced significant findings about the character trait of self-control.

As the original participants from this study have been followed over time, it has been discovered that the students which displayed the most self-control performed better academically, avoided substance abuse, and were more likely to be a healthy weight into adulthood.

In fact, Angela L. Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania has found that self-control is a better predictor of academic success than an IQ test.

With Reading Horizons focusing heavily on children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, it is nice to know that the future success of these children will depend more on their character than on their IQ (although dyslexics often have above average intelligence).