The marshmallow experiment is a famous test conducted by social psychologist Walter Mishchel at Stanford in the 1960s. Mishcel, now at Columbia, put marshmallows in front of a room full of 4-year olds, and told them that they could have one marsh mallow now, but if they could wait several minutes, they could have two. The children who waited longer went on to get higher SAT scores. They got into college and had, on average, better academic outcomes.
I wonder if they also had better 401(k) participation rates.