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.
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.