Lei Wang

Lei Wang

Editorial Fellow

Lei (Kanglei) Wang has been a science reporter in Hong Kong, a well-being researcher at a psychology center, and an international background checker. She is interested in the why’s behind human actions: the psychological backstories of both great crimes and great charity. You can contact her at lwang@motherjones.com.

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Book Review: Beijing Bastard

| Fri Oct. 31, 2014 5:30 AM EDT

Beijing Bastard

By Val Wang

GOTHAM BOOKS

In her drifter memoir of leaving home in order to find it, Chinese American author Val Wang struggles between head and heart as she tries to make a living—and a life—in Beijing, burdened by the expectations of her forebears yet buoyed by the spirit of youth. In the process, she shows us a China full of contradictions: at once glamorous and grungy, ancient and modern, ambitious and loafing.

Book Review: The Marshmallow Test

| Fri Sep. 19, 2014 5:35 AM EDT
the marshmallow test

The Marshmallow Test

By Walter Mischel

LITTLE, BROWN

Much ado has been made of the titular psych test, in which kids able to wait 20 minutes to earn two marshmallows instead of settling for one right away were shown, decades later, to rate better on everything from educational level to their risk of becoming a drug addict. In this book, Walter Mischel, who designed the original experiment, dispels the notion that the ability to delay gratification is a have-or-not-have trait. The patient kids, he writes, used strategies anyone can learn. ("I think, therefore I can change what I am.") And if you're just not motivated, don't fret. After all, Mischel notes, what fun is life without a little indulgence?

This review originally appeared in our September/October issue of Mother Jones.