Sunday, May 17, 2009

The secret of self-control

Dept. of Science: Don’t!: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

Apparently kids who can delay gratification in looking at a piece of chocolate score 210 points higher on American SAT scores!

There is certainly quite a lot of historical evidence that the widespread introduction of table-manners and other forms of public self-control correlates very well with the massive decline in rates of public violence in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Western Europe.

In England, at least, in the central middle ages (say 1200-1500) the murder and assault rates were magnitudes of levels higher than in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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