Chapter 3. Delay of Gratification

A Review of Fifty Years of Regulation Research

  1. Dr Rick H. Hoyle PhD Professor Fellow Member
  1. Renée M. Tobin1 and
  2. William G. Graziano2

Published Online: 15 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444318111.ch3

Handbook of Personality and Self-Regulation

Handbook of Personality and Self-Regulation

How to Cite

Tobin, R. M. and Graziano, W. G. (2010) Delay of Gratification, in Handbook of Personality and Self-Regulation (ed R. H. Hoyle), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444318111.ch3

Editor Information

  1. Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychology, Illinois State University, Normal, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2010
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405177122

Online ISBN: 9781444318111



  • delay of gratification across lifespan;
  • delay of gratification, early in childhood - long-term achievement, coping abilities and stress management;
  • PsycINFO search, 1896 to December 2007 - keyword of “delay of gratification”;
  • foundation of delay of gratification research in theory;
  • stimulus–response (S–R) behaviorists and delay of gratification phenomenon;
  • S–R behaviorists - strong aversions for cognitive variables;
  • achievement motivation and delay - need for new theoretical approach for addressing core questions;
  • Tolman-based S–S contiguity version of behaviorism;
  • toward process theory of delay of gratification;
  • delay of gratification - key variables making delay less rational


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Foundation of Delay of Gratification Research in Theory

  • Toward a Process Theory of Delay of Gratification

  • References