The Pygmalion effect is known in psychology as those expectations that people have and influence what happens around us . Thus, the power of expectations, both in the workplace , as well as in the educational and social environment, is the center of the Pygmalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy. At Bekia we tell you much more about this interesting event.

Rosenthal and Jacobson’s investigations

In the 1960s, these two professionals in the field of psychology wanted to investigate the influence that expectations or what people expect from others on their performance , that is, on the Pygmalion effect. To do this, they focused on students from a California high school.

At first, they passed an intelligence test to a class group and the results obtained were practically the same for each other, that is, all the students had more or less the same ability and intelligence , so they had obtained a similar score on the in

Once the results were obtained, they randomly selected a small group within the same class and made some false reports , in which it was reflected that this group of students had obtained incredible results in the intelligence test, and great results could be expected things from all of them and were destined to go far. These false reports were read by his teachers.

Once that academic year was over, they re-selected those students that they had previously selected at random and took an intelligence test again . The results were amazing , since each and every one of them who had been attributed a false intelligence had obtained scores much higher than the rest.

Teachers’ expectations of their students had been manipulated

This means that, with these false reports, the students who had scored higher on the intelligence test had been treated differently by their teachers . The teachers had expected much more from these students, they had unconsciously treated them as smarter people and thus their performance increased considerably.

The different treatment was manifested in the following way: in the explanations, they maintained much more eye contact with them, if they made a mistake, the error was not attributed to their abilities, but rather to the fact of not having understood the message or the explanations. In addition, they encouraged them more than the rest of their classmates and offered them opportunities that others did not have, all this as we have pointed out previously, unconsciously.

The false expectations of this small group of students were eventually met , and their academic results were surprisingly good and far superior to the rest of the class. This shows that what is thought ends up affecting what happens. In this case, what the teachers thought positively influenced the performance of that group of students.

Thus, these two authors belonging to the field of psychology had shown that the expectations we have towards others and even towards ourselves end up influencing the final result that ends up being produced, that is, believing in something can make a situation end producing through the actions that are carried out.

Psychology is amazing, because without realizing it, you change the way you do things and you modify your behavior, which makes something more or less probable. This is exactly the essence of the Pygmalion effect, and that is why it is so important that you have a positive attitude . If you are optimistic and see yourself as a successful person with great possibilities in life, it is easier to achieve success. However, there are many factors that prevent us from having those expectations. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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