Home Tales of Imagination Professor Quah Hock Gin

Professor Quah Hock Gin

by Venky

(Photo Credit: Priya Bajpal)

It was yet another variant of the famous “Marshmallow” Test. The topical question of instant versus delayed gratification had become the Holy Grail of Behavioural Psychology and Economics. The 4 year olds trooping in were instructed to pick a straw a clip and 2 conch shells. If they could restrain themselves from picking more of any of the assembled objects for five minutes, their share would be doubled. Their reactions and restraints were secretly observed by Quah Hock Gin the greatest living psychologist of his time.

Dr. Gin’s report when completed would topple received wisdom on its head!

(Word Count: 98)

This story was written as part of the FRIDAY FICTIONEERS challenge, more about which may be found HERE

 For the complete list of entries, please click HERE

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Margaret January 12, 2019 - 5:50 am

Fascinating. I’d love to know what his results were. Maybe shells are more tempting than marshmallows.

venkyninja1976 January 12, 2019 - 7:28 am

Thanks! Indeed the shells might hold more attention & attraction quotients

crimsonprose January 12, 2019 - 8:29 am

And received wisdom is? Would a 4-year old hold off immediate gratification for double later?
Remembering my kids when they were that age, one would have sneaked a second helping behind my back; one would have openly taken at least one more, while the third would have had no problem in waiting.

venkyninja1976 January 12, 2019 - 10:31 am

Ha ha! This was actually an experiment conducted by the late Great former Stanford University Professor Walter Mischel. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI) and other life measures. It was indeed a fascinating and revealing experiment.

crimsonprose January 12, 2019 - 10:33 am

Now that is interesting. For the daughter who waited was the one went furthest with her education. 🙂

venkyninja1976 January 12, 2019 - 11:04 am

Wowwwwwwww!!!! This is just amazing! Perfect vindication of Professor Mischel’s findings! He would have been thrilled to have read this.

crimsonprose January 12, 2019 - 12:03 pm

Moreover, the one who sneaked a cheat was the first to quit education.

venkyninja1976 January 12, 2019 - 12:09 pm


crimsonprose January 12, 2019 - 12:11 pm

But predictable. 🙂

Susan A Eames January 13, 2019 - 11:21 am

Loved reading this – and loved how it made me continue to think!

Susan A Eames at
Travel, Fiction and Photos

venkyninja1976 January 13, 2019 - 12:36 pm

Thank you so much!

Mrs Marian Green January 14, 2019 - 6:36 pm

Leaving us guessing… Good one..


venkyninja1976 January 14, 2019 - 11:46 pm

Thanks Much!


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