TikTok Marshmallow Test Followup Analysis - Part 1

I tested millions of TikTokers and now I have DATA showing how many of you are cheaters. How good your attention span is. How snarky you are. And how many of you say you keep dozens of kids locked in your basements??? Seriously guys, that last number is SCARILY high.

And yes, all those numbers are DIFFERENT from the instagram results.

Big datasets give me the science tingles

Let’s get into it.

I asked you all to take a my modified marhsmallow test– if you haven’t yet, go check it out. Spoilers start now. It challenged you to stare at an unmoving screen with no audio for 45 seconds. A whoole 45. Then at the end i asked you to comment something random on the video but include the number 42. HOWEVER, halfway through that 45 second silence i flashed an additional instruction: to use 37 instead of 42. The goal was to catch the cheaters who skipped to the end.

We got almost 800,000 comments! Well done guys! And when I said “something random” you really took it to heart. I feel like i now have a window into the collective subconscious of tiktok. Some of you have dirty minds. And many are just weird

It’s taken me ages to actually download those comments and analyze them in various ways, but let’s get into some highlights. Oh and if you want me to look through it to answer other questions, like, do tiktokers prefer bears, chickens, or monkeys, let me know what words to look for in the comments! It’s got everything!

Alright my science nerds, let’s get into it. Discarding spam comments and replies (leaving ~500k “first-comments”), 5.6% of you DID NOT FOLLOW ANY INSTRUCTIONS, and included neither 37 nor 42 in your comment. That was 28,000 of you. Shame.

Next up is the group I labeled “snarky” - those who saw that they should use 37 instead of 42, but decided to include BOTH in their answer. That was 14.4%, or 72,000.

And those were counted as part of the larger number that passed the test! Which was, drumroll please….. 68.3%. Well done guys! And they say gen Z has no attention span.

Quick anecdote: there’s a venture capitalist i work with who saw the video and decided to text me “42” 🫢

Which brings us to the cheaters. The mathematically minded amongst you should have already calculated it, but, the percentage of you who COULDN”T follow instructions and just WATCH THE SCREEN for LESS THAN A MINUTE, and instead SKIPPED TO THE END, and were motivated enough to COMMENT and PRETEND THAT YOU HAD SAT THROUGH IT was… 26%. 1 in 4. Over 200,000 of you. SHAAAAMMMEEE!!

But speaking of attention spans, looks like i’ll have to cover the instagram and “kids trapped in basement” numbers in the next video!