Barragan, Gladys, Atance, Cristina, Kopp, Leia and Hopfensitz, Astrid (2018) Two facets of patience in young children: Waiting with and without an explicit reward. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 171. pp. 14-30.

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Identification Number : 10.1016/j.jecp.2018.01.018


Patience, or the ability to tolerate delay, is typically studied using delay of gratification (DoG) tasks. However, among other factors (e.g., type of reward), the use of a reward to test patience is affected by an individual’s motivation to obtain the reward (e.g., degree of preference for the small vs. large reward). In addition, DoG tasks do not assess the extent to which an individual can wait in the absence of an explicit reward—or what we term “patience as a virtue.” Accordingly, the current study used a new measure of patience—the “pure waiting paradigm”—in which 3- to 5-year-old children waited 3 min with nothing to do and with no explicit reward. We then examined the relation between performance on this task (as assessed by children’s spontaneous patient behaviors) and performance on two DoG tasks (candy and video rewards). Significant correlations were found between DoG performance and patient behaviors in the pure waiting paradigm, especially when controlling for motivation. These results and methodology show for the first time a direct link between patience as a virtue and DoG performance and also provide new insights about the study of patience in children.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: July 2018
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patience, Delay of gratification, Self-control, Behavior, Motivation, Waiting
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 09:27
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2024 11:33
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