Walter Mischel is an American psychologist specializing in personality theory and social psychology. In the 1960s, Mischel used the now-famous "marshmallow task" to examine individual differences in the ability to delay gratification and exert self-control. By following his original subjects over the course of several decades, Mischel has demonstrated that behavior in the original task predicted many aspects of their lives, including educational attainment, career success and so forth.
Professor Mischel is the recipient of numerous awards, including election into the National Academy of Sciences. He is the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. Originally from Vienna, Mischel grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Ohio State University.