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PLEXICON Labs: Results of the Van Gogh-Goghs' Emotional Quotient (EQ) Tests

The "marshmallow test" has come to define the standard Emotional Quotient (EQ) test: A test subject is placed at a table with one standard marshmallow on it. The subject is told they may consume the marshmallow now. They are also told if they can wait five minutes without consuming the marshmallow, they will be given additional marshmallows. The subject is then left alone for the five minutes; their reactions videotaped by a concealed camera. The point of the test is to determine if the subject has reached sufficient emotional maturity to postpone immediate gratification for a greater reward in the future. The development of this skill is typically at least partially formed by age two. Thus PLEXICON Labs' surprise in being asked to conduct these tests on a group of six "Generation X" age comedy team members.

Benson, Alan

Subject Benson successfully waited the five minutes in a bored looking silence. When presented with the additional marshmallows, Benson said, "Yeah, whatever" and consumed the marshmallows as he stomped out the door.

Black, Galen

Subject Black sucessfully waited the five minutes in a patient and Job-like manner. When presented with the additional marshmallows, he refused them, saying he would continue to wait. Asked to explain, subject Black said he figured he should receive an additional dozen marshmallow if he waited a half hour. Told that this was not how the test was structured, subject Black replied he had nothing better to do and really liked marshmallows. Security was summoned and subject escorted out.

Childs, Mike, T.

Subject Childs successfully waited the five minutes. However, when presented with the additional marshmallows, he threw them in the trash, complaining bitterly about not liking marshmallows and asking if the researcher if there were any cookies he could wait for. After being told no, subject Childs left angrily, muttering, "Thanks for nothing." and something about hard earned tax dollars and "I'll be back." Security was notified.

Torchinsky, Jason

Subject Torchinsky appeared to have successfully waited the full five minutes. Once he received the additional marshmallows, he quickly left, leaving behind the first marshmallow. On closer examination, it was determined not to be a marshmallow at all. Reviewing the videotape revealed subject Torchinsky ate the initial marshmallow within 15 seconds of the start of the test. The remaining 4 minutes and 45 seconds show subject Torchinsky constructing a crude marshmallow decoy out of gum and liquid paper. Report sent by Security to Washington, D.C. to be entered into subject's permanent record.

Rempel, Charles

After explaining the test, subject Rempel was sat down in front of the marshmallow. He promptly ate it before the timer could be started. When the researcher attempted to explain to subject Rempel he must wait until the timer starts, Rempel grabbed the researcher by the lapels of his lab coat and screamed "Gimme the damn marshmallows!!" The frightened researcher handed Rempel the entire bag of marshmallows, who then exited, laughing evilly, shoving passing personnell and taunting them with shouts of "Nerd!" Warned not to approach, Security successfully noted subject's license plate number for criminal prosecution.

Terrell, Robert

Subject Terrell arrived twenty minutes late for the test joking if any of that time could be applied to his waiting time for the marshmallows. The subject was warned that any breach of lab protocol would invalidate not only his test, but all the tests. Suitably chastened, Terrell successfully completed the wait. However, when the researcher went to present subject Terrell with the additional marshmallows, he discovered there were no more marshmallows. Concluding previous subject Rempel had taken them all, the researcher apologized to subject Terrell, who responded "That's okay, really," but mentioning he hadn't eaten all day. Researcher said he thought there might be some marshmallows in the trash (see subject Childs), they probably weren't very dirty, and the researcher offered to sterilize them for him. Subject Terrell insisted he was not hungry, and that no trouble should be taken on his account although he had been promised those additional marshmallows. A compromise was reached when the researcher gave subject Terrell the monetary value of the additional marshmallows.

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