Home > Teaching & Learning > The Twitter Generation: Teaching Deferred Gratification to College Students

The Twitter Generation: Teaching Deferred Gratification to College Students

By Patty O’Grady

Consider this: The research on deferred gratification connects with the research in the emerging neurodevelopment science of education. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between deferred gratification defined as self-regulation and current and future academic, social, and emotional success. And finally, teaching deferred gratification may increase student retention. Happily, there are specific, unique, and research-based strategies that educators can deploy to explicitly teach deferred gratification or self-regulation to all college students.

Current college students are conditioned to expect instant gratification, whether in instant messages, instant admissions, speed dating, instant credit, or instant feedback from professors: How many pages do you want? Deferred gratification also referred to as impulse control, self-regulation, self-control, self-discipline, patience, and will power is the ability to delay reward. Goleman (1996) suggests that self-regulation is a key factor in emotional intelligence, predictive of both academic and personal success across multiple assessment variables. New neuroscience research suggests that deferred gratification is a brain process that activates the frontal cortex to manage the impulses and emotions of the amygdala. There is also emerging evidence that deferred gratification can be affected by direct experience and, as I’ve said, explicitly taught to young adults who may possess poor patience and planning abilities. (Davidson 2003).

Visit: http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/cgi-bin/tomprof/postings.php

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