Moshe Bar, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School in Boston who was not involved in the study, is impressed by the long-term data set but cautions that the study is observational and can’t establish that self-control breeds success. Still, parents of cookie nibblers shouldn’t despair, he says. He was intrigued to read that some of the children in the study improved their self-control. Bar and his 7- and 10-year-old children “play a game of ‘waiting’ with unwrapping a candy for no other reason than practicing a delay,” he says. “It works,” he says, but then, as he points out, he has a sample size of only two.
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