If you have self-control over the desire to get instant benefits, then you are more likely to earn higher income later, finds a study. In the study, researchers from Temple University in Pennsylvania, US, used artificial intelligence to rank the most important determinants of future affluence.
They found education and occupation were the best predictors. But, people with greater self-control to delay instant gratification or with the ability to discount the value of future rewards compared to immediate ones, were more likely to have higher salaries later in life, beating age, race, ethnicity and height, said researchers, in the paper published in Frontiers in Psychology.
“If you want your child to grow up to earn a good salary, consider instilling in them the importance of passing on smaller, immediate rewards in favour of larger ones that they have to wait for,” said lead author William Hampton from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. “This is probably easier said than done, as very few people naturally enjoy waiting, but our results suggest that those who develop the ability to delay gratification are likely investing in their own earning potential,” he added.
The study collected a large amount of data — from more than 2,500 diverse participants — and split them into a training set and a test set. The models indicated that occupation and education were the best predictors of high income, followed by location (as determined by zip code) and gender — with males earning more than females.
Time to start saving up then.