What predicts best how much you will earn? A very novel way to study this…

From experience to meaning...

This morning Jan De Mol sent me this study and at first I was looking at the outcomes – remembering the present Marshmallow debate. But tonight when I looked again at the study I noticed that the method is the bigger news. The researchers used machine learning to compute a whole lot of data, and it left me wondering how this will influence further research.

Let’s look at the summary in the press release:

For the first time, Temple University researchers have used machine learning to rank the most important determinants of future affluence. Education and occupation were the best predictors — but surprisingly, a person’s ability to delay instant gratification was also among the most important determinants of higher income, beating age, race, ethnicity and height. Published in Frontiers in Psychology, the study suggests that interventions to improve this “delay discounting” could have literal payoffs in terms…

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