Over on FB, I've been watching a utube video of "The Marshmallow Test". It's a test that was done on young kids, which at first glance seems to be testing kid's patience, or ability to delay gratification. The child is seated at a table and a plate with a LARGE marshmallow is placed in front of him/her. The adult tells the child "You can eat this marshmallow now, but if you can wait 10 minutes, I'll bring a second marshmallow, and you can have two." The test is ACTUALLY about how children respond to the reliability of their environment! Before the marshmallow part, the adult gives a 'used' box of crayons to the child with paper and makes a similar proposal:"You can use these crayons now, or if you can wait ten minutes, I'll go and get some other better crayons." If the adult returns and apologizes and says she couldn't find the other crayons, the child is more likely to eat the single marshmallow, as they perceive the environment as "unreliable (a bird in the hand,etc.) If the adult actually brings the better crayons, the child is far more likely to delay eating the single marshmallow, as they see the adult as reliable. So DON'T promise what you may not be able to deliver!!
There's also a utube video of a "Mature Marshmallow test" done with adults, and I LOLLED!!! (they sniffed and covered it up and turned their backs and had a HARD time waiting!!