Technology and the internet promoting kids with poor impulse control

26/5/2017
Impulse
The on-demand nature of technology can teach children poor impulse control.

We LIVE in an ‘‘on demand’’ world driven by the mobility of technology and accessibility to the internet.

We can download books and music, watch TV shows and have multiple conversations, all from our smartphones – sometimes at the same time!

The upside to this is greater connectivity and flexibility. The downside, especially for young people, is that the “on demand” nature­ of their lives may not be beneficial in the long-term.

A series of famous experiments were conducted by American psychologist Walter Mischel 40 years ago to test self-control in young children. Mischel offered children the choice of an immediate reward in the form of a treat but if they waited a little longer, they would get a larger reward.

Two-thirds of the children in the study acted on impulse by opting for the immediate but smaller reward. Mischel then tracked those children into their teenage years and found that the children who exhibited more self-control and waited for the larger reward­ ended up with academic success and were able to better control their feelings and emotions.

It is not entirely clear why some children can wait while others don’t seem to be able to. Researchers believe the children who are able to wait have the capacity­ to think through their choice, knowing that they will get a better outcome by waiting.

The good news is that young people can be taught strategies that help build those thinking skills.


Read the full NewsLocal online article

 

Posted By Greg Whitby, NewsLocal at 4/10/2017 5:21:41 PM
 
   
  
 

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