Story by The Atlantic on a study revisiting the “Marshmallow Test” is further supported by credible and relevant sources
The Marshmallow Test, a psychological study published in 1972 by Walter Mischel, prompted further research examining the relationship between a child’s ability to delay gratification and their future success. A similar study, conducted in 1990, is the basis of a recent replication attempt published in Psychological Science which Jessica Calarco discusses in this article for The Atlantic. The study of interest performed a conceptual replication; using a more representative sample and controlling for factors such as parent’s level of education. Ultimately, the study suggested that socioeconomic background is significant in determining the child’s ability to delay immediate gratification.
The Atlantic article accurately recounts the key facets and claims of the study and provides credible and relevant supporting information. Calarco is unbiased and does not suggest any incorrect causation or correlation throughout the article. She effectively depicts the researcher’s purpose and the important differences between the replication attempt and the original study.
Calarco successfully communicates the findings of the article; she employs clear and accessible language suitable for the target audience. Further, she uses several supporting sources- including her own research- to support the article’s findings and to provide a commentary on other relevant research in the field. All of these sources are clearly cited and accessible to the audience; this provides the reader the opportunity to form their own opinions and to assess the credibility of The Atlantic article themselves.
Jessica Calarco, writing for The Atlantic, discusses an article published in Psychological Science that reassesses the “Marshmallow Test” and its relevance to sociology and psychology. The article in question revisits a previously popular study published in the 1990s that found a correlation between a child’s ability to delay gratification and their overall success in life.
Calarco initiates her article by introducing the original study and establishing relevant background information. She iterates the researcher’s reasons for conducting their new study and states what they changed from the original – creating a more representative sample and controlling certain factors. The article accurately states the claims of the study in an accurate manner while avoiding certain phrases to ensure that no outright correlations are incorrectly interpreted.
The article uses several other sources to back up the information presented in the original study. For example, Calarco takes examples from her own research – in a similar field – to support the conclusions and the scientific processes undertaken in the study, in an unbiased manner. She leaves much of the new evidence up for interpretation, which is welcomed, as it leaves the reader to come to their own conclusion.
Another positive aspect of the article is that it does not heavily rely on information from the study that it has based itself on. The story uses data from the paper sparingly making it much easier for the average reader to interpret and understand.
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