Patient children have brighter futures: study

Patient children have brighter futures: study
Children who pick a 1,000-kronor payout in five years' time do better later in life than their peers who chose a tenth of that sum straight away, a new Swedish study into delayed gratification has revealed.

Researchers at the Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (Ifau) in Uppsala decided to look into how children who prioritize reward in the long-term versus the short-term fare later in life.

“The study looked at how the individual values benefit today and in the future,” the researchers summarized. “We looked at whether there was a link between the choice of an immediate benefit rather than delayed reward (in other words, a kind of impatience) and long-term socio-economic outcomes.”

To answer that question, the researchers asked children in grade six, when Swedish children are eleven to twelve years old, about what they would rather choose:

100 kronor now or 1,000 in five years’ time?

In other words, $15 straight away, or show a bit of restraint and gain tenfold that amount.

Then the Uppsala researchers followed the children’s development using publicly available statistics over four decades.

“Our results show their is a clear link between individuals who are not impatient doing better later in life,” the study summarized.

The most clear correlation was found between a child’s level of patience and how well they performed in school and whether they went on to higher education, the researchers noted.

TT/The Local/at

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