Delay discounting was found to be predictive of earning potential.
The ability to postpone future rewards may predict earning potential.
- A grown up version of the marshmellow test, the ability to delay gratification can predict actual earning potential and level of affluence.
- The hypothetical question offered in a study was being offered $500 or doubling it, by waiting.
- When we accept instant rewards we discount the value of future awards. Not accepting future awards that are much higher than present ones may be described as irrational and contrary to common expectation.
- The study was designed to see whether rationality in these circumstance would play a role in an individual's earning potential.
"All sorts of things predict income. We knew that this behavioural variable, delay discounting, was also predictive – but we were really curious how it would stack up against more common-sense predictors like education and age. Using machine learning, our study was the first to create a validated rank ordering of age, occupation, education, geographic location, gender, race, ethnicity, height, age and delay discounting in income prediction." - William Hampton, (conducted the study while at Temple University in Philadelphia, now at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.)