the fundamental lesson of the marshmallow experiment is that some people will withhold things from you for no reason other than to see how it fucks with you


"i could give you this one now, or I could give you two of these if you wait"

oh you have to go get the other one?

"no, you just have to wait for it"

so you have the both right now

"yes and I'll give you one now, or--"

but you could just give me them both now if you wanted to

"i mean yes but--"

but instead you want me to sit here thinking about you arbitrarily not giving me both

"it will let me learn something about you"

yes, it's very clearly me we're learning something about right now

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@brainwane I remember whatever the paper? was that came out a year or two back, saying (hazily paraphrasing) "hey update on that marshmallow experiment: it turns out maybe kids take one now instead of two later because they've learned to distrust a systemically unstable and withholding set of life circumstances".

And what this revelation reduces down to is essentially "it turns out children are people, and many have come to understand that the world is unfair and full of bullshit promises".

@brainwane A lot of famous and historically...clickbaity (for lack of a better term this morning) psychological results really seem to depend in part on a mode of analysis where the experiment designer takes shit with a lot of potentially complicated and charged social baggage and implications and says "okay, but, just for the sake of argument let's set aside all that and focus on this one narrow aspect of the scenario".

Which feels like...a lot of crappy internet discourse sometimes.

I'm kinda getting into a ramble now, gonna go find some caffeine.

@joshmillard I'm nodding along with a lot of "yeahhhhhh" :(

btw, this is more off-the-wall related, but I think there's a lot to be (thoughtfully, compassionately, curiously) discussed and learned about _suspense_ and _anticipation_..... about the _pleasurable_ delay of gratification in the context of entertainment. What delight is it that spoilers are spoiling? And part of the requirement, I think, is trust/security re: hearing the rest of the story

@brainwane Right! Like, waiting and delay and suspense aren't Bad Things, but there's a core question of agency, of as you say trust and security, involved in understanding them as overall positive or negative experiences, or in looking at someone's experience of a delay as being primarily just "experiencing delay" vs "experiencing the mental/emotional fallout of the context of delay".

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