What is meant by delay of gratification? Why is it considered important for adult development?
Delay of gratification also known as self-control is a practice which means learning to delay or defer the more pleasurable or fun-loving needs and rewarding later.
It is considered important for adult development because any situations of life require resistance to situational pressures and control over ourselves. Human beings can control their behavior the way they want which is possible through what is commonly known as ‘willpower’. Delay or defer the satisfaction of certain needs or practicing self-control play a key role in the fulfillment of long-term goals.
Indian cultural tradition provides us with certain effective mechanisms (e.g. fasting in vrata or Roza and non-attachment with worldly things) for developing self-control. A number of psychological techniques of self-control have been suggested which are:-
- Observation of own behavior :- This provides us with necessary information that may be used to change, modify, or strengthen certain aspects of self.
- Self-instruction :- It is another important technique. We often instruct ourselves to do something and behave the way we want to. Such instructions are quite effective in self-regulation.
- Self-reinforcement :- It involves rewarding behaviors that have pleasant outcomes. For example, you may go to see a movie with friends, if you have done well in an examination. These techniques have been tried out and found quite effective with respect to self-regulation and self-control.