YPIE Scientist: Elizabeth O.

Research: Delayed Gratification and Levels of Income


Delayed gratification is the ability to hold off on a short fast reward, for a greater longer reward. Children who have the ability to delay gratification are known to do better in life (Calarco, 2018). They deal with fewer substance abuse issues, better behavior in school, have better social skills, etc (Conti, 2007). They deal with fewer substance abuse issues, respond better to stress, have better social skills etc Researchers have shown that kids who grew up in a wealthier environment have higher delayed gratification than kids who grew up in a less wealthy environment. The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not a person's upbringing influences their ability to delay gratification. In another researcher’s experiment (Watts et al., 2018), they conducted an in-person delayed gratification test, where they had children (ages 6-15) from mothers who graduated college and from mothers who didn’t, waiting for a treat right in front of them. They measured the amount of time the child waited without eating the treat before the researcher came back. In the same 2018 study, the results were that higher income kids, or kids whose mother graduated college did better on the test and had a higher delay gratification than those whose mother didn’t and come from lower income families. In this study, it is planned to obtain 30 participants from different levels of income, put them in groups based on their income, and have them take an online survey. The online survey will use the Delayed Gratification Inventory scale (DGI-35). In this study, the researcher expects to see a positive correlation between delayed gratification and levels of income. With this research, it can show that environmental factors might not have an effect on delayed gratification, but how you were raised.

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