1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    you know he would do:

    you’re fake. Gimme the marshmellow. I swear myself in as the best president of the united states. believe me.

  2. ralfmuschall says

    Not to spoil the joke, but the marshmallow test does not test strength of will or discipline, but just measures trust, i.e. whether one spent one’s childhood in poverty or not. For poor children, taking the single marshmallow and to knowingly pass on the second one is a rational choice – they have to take into account the possibility that the first one will be stolen instead of being doubled.

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think Trump would take the two marshmallows, and then try to negotiate with threats of nukes to get the third.

  4. Alverant says

    Knowing Trump, he’ll take the first marshmellow and eat it quickly then claim he never took it and demand 3 more marshmallows and be sworn in anyway.

  5. grasshopper says

    Reminds me of this

    The Jack Benny Program (Radio: 1932-1955)
    Mugger: Your money or your life.
    Mugger: Look bud. I said, your money or your life.
    Jack: I’m thinking it over!

  6. woozy says

    @3 I never heard of the marshmallow test described as that. I always heard it didn’t measure will nor trust, but the ability to defer immediate gratification for a greater but not immediate reward. Or maybe my shrinks always explained it that way as it applied to me…

    Anyway, this made me laugh out loud.

  7. says

    In Trump-land, why believe the government will have two marshmallows? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

    I’m not familiar with the reference but it seems that the underlying point is one of those social pseudoscience experiments in which experimenters measure college undergrads’ behaviors in controlled conditions (where the undergrads trust the experimenter) and then try to generalize something from those behaviors. In some parts of the world, the smart subject would shoot the experimenter and search their corpse for all the marshmallows.

  8. Zeppelin says

    @Marcus Ranum

    It’s an experiment you do with children, not college students (though there are altered versions you can do with adults, involving money). It’s supposed to test a child’s ability to delay gratification, which is an ability that generally improves as people mature. Thus the joke, that Trump is like an impulsive child.

  9. says

    Yeah I thought there was some sort of age correlation with this, everything else held equal.

    Of course the fun one is where you put two people in different rooms and you tell them there’s $10, and they can have as much of it as they want and the other person will get the remainder, and then you do alternating rounds.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    IANA Child Psychologist, but from what I’ve read, whether the kid takes the one candy now or holds out for the two candies later predicts, with higher reliability than any other test tried so far (okay, at the time I read this in 201_ ), whether the kid will do well in school.

    Take that, Stanford! Take that, Binet!

  11. karellen says

    #7, #9, #11: Ability to delay gratification was the original interpretation of the study, yes, but a recent follow-up[0] showed that it was more complicated than that. It is partly a test of a child’s ability to delay gratification, but also a test of trust in the people administering the test.


  12. Freodin says

    Marshmellows are SO overrated! And what is this “swearing in” at all? He won, he can do everything he wants! SAD!

  13. ralfmuschall says

    @12 That’s what I was about. I think the ability to delay gratification is at least partly learned, and can only develop in an environment where it works (i.e. less often in poverty). Since this ability greatly influences later life success, the combination of both things helps explain why children of poor families end up with worse education and are later poor themselves.
    Btw., I like the last paragraph there. Only doing the test with one’s own child would test one’s reliability and say nothing about the child.

  14. gijoel says

    I’d never thought I’d say this, but I kind of yearn for the days of Dubya. At least he was predictably stupid. This president is a nitroglycerin strapped bull in a fireworks factory built over an orphanage. Nothing good will come of him.

  15. quotetheunquote says

    @ #5

    Knowing Trump, he’ll take the first marshmallow and eat it quickly then claim he never took it and demand 3 more marshmallows and be sworn in anyway.

    …. and his supporters would all believe him, and Rudy Guilliani would claim that this shows what a genius he is.

  16. Saad says

    quotetheunquote, #16

    …. and his supporters would all believe him, and Rudy Guilliani would claim that this shows what a genius he is.

    And many of the people who didn’t want him for president will defend him.

  17. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    The goppers have been doing that for decades now. Nixon made Eisenhower look good, Reagan had people thinking that maybe Tricky Dick wasn’t so bad, W had us looking back in relative fondness at the Reagan years…. There is no rock bottom for the gop; they have fallen into one of those bottomless Star Wars holes.

  18. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    And then some will jump in here to explain how it’s all HRC’s fault for offering us nothing but quinoa and kale.

  19. Rich Woods says

    “Screw your marshmallows. I wanna know, is that the bible Obama swore on? If it is, I’m gonna piss on it, a yuuge piss.. it’ll be beautiful.”