Your Earnings can be Predicted Based on Need, Age, and Race

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The most important determinants of one’s future affluence were ranked by a machine used for the first time by the researchers from Temple University. The best predictors are occupation and education but the ability to delay instant gratification, surprisingly, is a determinant of higher income as well beating race, height, ethnicity, and age. The study got published in Frontiers in Psychology and interventions aiming to improve the delay discounting might modify the higher income attainment by real payoffs.


Occupation, gender, age, education, height, and ethnicity are a part of the numerous essential factors that can estimate how much we will earn. Behavioral variables are also a factor including how a person relates to the “marshmallow test.”

A conclusion would be that children with greater self-control are most likely to earn more money later in life after the delay discounting aka how much a person discounts future reward’s value in comparison to immediate one’s study was conducted.

Dr. William Hampton, the lead author of the study and a professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, said that the most important factors could not have been determined with traditional methods of analyzing data.


Regression and correlations are traditional methods that psychologists use to make comparisons, but they could not facilitate simultaneous ones especially of different factors that relate to the affluence of an individual.

A significant amount of data from over 2,500 diverse participants was collected for this study and then split into a test set and a training set. Model results produced by the training set while the test set was put aside. To test their findings’ accuracy, the researchers went back to the test set.

In conclusion, the most critical factor that determines one’s future income are the education and occupation along with gender and location.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.