Can Expecting Good Outcomes Create Good Results?

The Self Fulfilling Prophecy In Action

Do we really get what we expect from others?  The Self-fulfilling Prophecy, also known as The Pygmalion Effect, seems to have real life examples.  The Pygmalion Effect is a phenomenon where the expectations of others can influence another individual’s behavior and outcomes.

A brief history: The Greek Myth of Pygmalion and Galatea is about a sculptor named Pygmalion who falls in love with a statue he has carved. The statue, named Galatea, is so lifelike Pygmalion wishes for it to be brought to life. His wish is granted by Aphrodite and Galatea becomes a real woman. The couple are happily married.  Pygmalion’s unwavering dedication, and desire, created an expectation, and brought Galatea to life.  This story illustrates how a person’s behavior, and outcomes, can be influenced by the expectations of another.  Treating someone with respect, and believing in their potential, can lead to positive outcomes.

The Pygmalion Effect has been widely studied in psychology.  A famous experiment was conducted by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. They gave a group of elementary school students an IQ Test.  They randomly told the teachers that certain students were “intellectual blooms” who were expected to show significant intellectual growth in the coming year. In reality, the students who were identified as “intellectual blooms” were chosen randomly and did not differ in ability from other students.

At the end of the year, the students were tested again, and the researchers found the students who were identified as “intellectual blooms” showed significantly greater intellectual growth compared to the other students. This experiment demonstrated the power of expectations in influencing a person’s behavior and outcomes. The teachers’ expectations of the “intellectual blooms” seemed to have influenced the way they interacted with and taught these students, leading to their improved performance on the IQ tests. The Pygmalion Effect has been replicated in various settings and suggests the expectations others have of an individual can have a significant impact on their behavior and outcomes.

Have a personal interest? Contact me to explore personal interests by clicking my Schedule a Callback Now link.

Disclaimer: The “Just Suppose Blog” shares ideas in exploring personal progress as derived from various sources.  It is intended as information only and is not intended as advice to engage in any specific physical or mental activity.  Always consider whether these ideas, concepts, techniques & activities are right for you & always confer with your health professionals.