Bismillāh ar-Rahmān ar-Rahīm
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Young Muslim Psychologist is back again! Watch the video below to see pictures from the session from last year held at Masjid Darul Aman.
For those interested in psychology, perhaps this article from The New Yorker might appeal to you. It is about a marshmallow test about self-control and delayed gratification. Here’s how its done:
A researcher will make an offer to the test subject (in this case, young children aged around 4 years): she could either eat one marshmallow right away or, if she was willing to wait while he stepped out for a few minutes, she could have two marshmallows when he returned. He said that if she rang a bell on the desk while he was away he would come running back, and she could eat one marshmallow but would forfeit the second. Then the researcher would leave the room.
This experiment was done in the late 1960s but they’ve found that low delayers, the children who rang the bell quickly, seemed more likely to have behavioral problems, both in school and at home. They got lower S.A.T. scores. They struggled in stressful situations, often had trouble paying attention, and found it difficult to maintain friendships. The child who could wait fifteen minutes had an S.A.T. score that was, on average, two hundred and ten points higher than that of the kid who could wait only thirty seconds.
The researchers came to this conclusion: based on hundreds of hours of observation, the crucial skill was the “strategic allocation of attention.” Instead of getting obsessed with the marshmallow—the “hot stimulus”—the patient children distracted themselves by covering their eyes, pretending to play hide-and-seek underneath the desk, or singing songs from “Sesame Street.” Their desire wasn’t defeated—it was merely forgotten. “If you’re thinking about the marshmallow and how delicious it is, then you’re going to eat it,” Mischel says. “The key is to avoid thinking about it in the first place.”
In adults, this skill is often referred to as metacognition, or thinking about thinking, and it’s what allows people to outsmart their shortcomings. How interesting is that? Does it not remind you of the encouragement the Qur’an gives whenever it says the Afterlife is better than this dunya and that we should just hold out for a while more?
Although Young Muslim Psychologist will not be conducting such experiments on their participants, it would be interesting what they would share and the things that you could possibly learn!
This year, Young Muslim Psychologist will be held at Masjid Khalid on Sunday, 14th June 2009 from 10am to 5pm. It is open to anyone from the ages of 12 – 24. Please check out the event page for more details. You can also check the organiser’s website at www.guidance-excel.com.
Ameera Begum Aslam
|Young Muslims Psychologist
14 June 2009, 10am – 5pm