(CHICAGO) — Waiting is the key to learning patience, and in turn, getting rewarded for it, according to researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
That might go against the grain of our “got to have it yesterday” society but both Ayelet Fishbach and Xiani Dai say if people can temper their hunger for instant gratification, it might pay off for them in the long run.
Fishbach claims, “Making people wait to make a decision can improve their patience because the process of waiting makes the reward for waiting seem more valuable.”
The researchers conducted an experiment in which participants in the U.S. and China were told they could win monetary prizes with the bigger one coming later than the smaller one. What they learned was that the more time participants spent making a decision on which option to choose, the more often they picked the bigger prize even though it meant having to wait longer for it.
Fishbach concluded, “When people wait, it makes them place a higher value on what they’re waiting for, and that higher value makes them more patient.”
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