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Go Ahead and Eat That Marshmallow. Patience Can Make You Unhappy

Paola Giuliano and Paola Sapienza: Given all the positive things that flow from patience, you might predict that people who delay gratification are also happier overall. We wondered about that and set out to test the proposition. It turns out it’s true, but only up to a point: The relationship between patience and contentedness has the shape of an inverted “U,” we found: Patience leads to greater happiness until you reach the 88th percentile of the trait, then happiness starts declining, leading to frustration and discontent.

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