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Walter Mischel

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Cookie Monster learns strategies for waiting from the Guy Smiley Singers.

Walter Mischel (b. 1930) is an American psychologist and Niven Professor of Humane Letters in Psychology at Columbia University.

Mischel is best known for hosting a series of experiments concerning "delayed gratification" during the 1960s and 1970s at Stanford University. The marshmallow experiments gave preschoolers (and slightly older children) one marshmallow and promised them a second one if they could stave-off eating it until an adult arrived. According to some results, some kids reportedly sang Sesame Street songs to themselves while they waited.[1] His latest book, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, was released by Little, Brown and Company in 2014.

To prepare for Sesame Street's 44th season goals of executive functioning skills and self-regulation, Mischel was brought into the Sesame Workshop offices to help the researchers with the new topics.[2]



  1. "'Don't!' The secret to self control." Lehrer, Jonah. The New Yorker. May 18, 2009
  2. "'Sesame Street' to teach ABCs of self-restraint". Toppo, Greg. September 15, 2013.
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