Kids and Candy Temptation

This article in a Harvard Business School newsletter briefly describes a study done on kids and candy. Children were asked to complete certain paper-folding tasks, with some children being promised candy and soda afterwards and some not promised anything. Surprisingly, the children who were promised the candy reward performed worse than the other children, even though there was a bribe at the end, supposedly because the thought of the candy was so distracting they couldn't focus as well on their tasks. The article expands the idea to adults tempted to spend time online during work hours, which can also be distracting. The takeaway? For kids, promising candy can be a distraction instead of a motivating bribe. And for me? Maybe I need to limit my email time.

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