Friday, October 9, 2015

Replication of Marshmallow Experiment Tempts IVC Faculty

Gratification delayed
by Kyle Overuse (special to Dissent)

     In the year 1972, when IVC was just a satellite campus in the SOCCCD’s eye, Stanford University professor Walter Mischel was conducting what would come to be known as one of the classic behavioral experiments in psychology: the Marshmallow Experiment. After assembling a test group of about 600 four-to-six-year-olds, Mischel asked his minions to seat each test subject at a table in a small room. A marshmallow was placed on plate on the table, and the child was told that if he or she could just refrain from eating the marshmallow while the experimenter was out of the room, he or she would be rewarded with a second. Alas, seventy percent of the children could not wait the fifteen to twenty minutes and gave in to temptation, thus losing their reward. Thirty percent, however, waited successfully and earned the second marshmallow. This minority, the experiment claimed, had a better chance at success in life than did the majority group, simply because the minority exhibited that valuable life skill of self-control and delayed gratification.

A psychology classic
     At Irvine Valley College this last week, the sudden overnight appearance of a giant marshmallow placed where the partially constructed liberal arts building had stood led certain faculty to speculate as to whether Mischel’s experiment was being replayed in a different context. After its usual careful research, DtB confirmed through a possibly administrative source speaking on the condition of not being identified that this indeed was the case.
     “If faculty can keep from entering the giant marshmallow for 12 months, they will get two liberal arts buildings instead of one,” the source confirmed. If, however, the academics give into temptation and enter the building, or try to eat it, then they will only get one building.

IVC's current, solitary marshmallow. Enter not.
     Rumor has it that the second building would be constructed on the corner of Irvine Center Drive and Jeffrey Road. The source denied that the second building would be used for IVC’s recently delayed program in Campfire Sciences.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This explains EVERYTHING!

Anonymous said...

I would really, really like TWO liberal arts buildings.

Anonymous said...

What IS that white wrapping? Why do they have to wrap it like that?

Anonymous said...

How does one eat a building?

Anonymous said...

Tiny bites, said Alice.

Anonymous said...

Don't eat the building whatever you do.

Anonymous said...

wind and rain...duh.

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful marshmallow.

Anonymous said...

Lots of news from IVC this time, but first an update on VP Bullwinkle, who got in a fender bender en route to a concert in LA during the summer. As I reported then, another IVC VP promptly sent out a replacement car and, just as promptly, I started receiving a lot of flack about it from faculty and staff. “Will I be rescued by the VP when my car breaks down on a weekend?” they asked. Well, unfortunately this service extends only to IVC VPs and their relatives on official college business (after the concert, VP Bullwinkle was scheduled to address a group of CIOs on how to ruin their perfectly good colleges). As I’ve always argued, however, a prestigious institution like IVC needs all the VPs it can get, so I am encouraging each and every employee to submit a resource request, a strategic plan, and an SLO to become a VP. “Every man a vice president” is my new motto.

Now, as most people know, I have always been very much a man of the future. I am building a marvelous College of the Future at ATEP. Unlike the college of the present, there will be no filthy bathrooms, no moldy ventilators, and no leaky roofs. Faculty and students will also be eliminated so that administration can focus on the mission of this brave new temple of learning: developing the mission statement. Again, I encourage all my relatives and friends to apply for positions there.

Last but not least, I am so proud of our token IVC students—all three of them—who worked side-by-side with the outside professionals on the Solar Decathlon House of the Future. I hope you were able to visit it last weekend and see its many innovative features, such as high tech panels that adjust to admit sunlight on cold days and block it on hot days. (I believe they called them “window shades.”)

Truly amazing and exciting stuff! I just can’t wait until it’s the future.

Well, that’s all we have time for this week. As always, my door is open, for what it’s worth.

Glenn R. “George Jetson” Roquemore

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Glenn. --Boris B

Anonymous said...

I wish the buildings at IVC got the same kind of loving attention from Glenn as the Solar Decalthon building got. I have submitted a resource request for a new classroom. Fingers crossed.