In our September/October 2014 issue, the psychologist David DeSteno offered a corrective to the increasingly popular view—informed by Walter Mischel’s now-famous Marshmallow Test—that willpower is the key to self-control, and emotion the biggest obstacle (“A Feeling of Control: How America Can Finally Learn to Deal With Its Impulses”). DeSteno pointed to an emerging body of research suggesting that the cultivation of certain emotions significantly bolsters restraint in the face of temptation. When it came to timing the release of DeSteno’s article, we couldn’t help ourselves: His piece hit newsstands shortly before Mischel came out with his first book for popular audiences, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control.
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