The Pygmalion Effect

I just lifted this text from a newsletter I get, I thought it was interesting, being as I have this conversation regularly with my girlfriends who left school to get married and have kids, whereas the expectation from my family was that I was going to do some sort of tertiary education after school and to travel…..what do you think about it, I also would love to hear your comments!!

The Pygmalion effect

The Pygmalion effect is a well documented and very powerful effect we have on others. The basic concept is the performance of the people you interact with is significantly affected by your expectations of them.

Expect the worst from people…and you are more likely to get it. Conversely if you expect the best from people….and you are more likely to get the best from them.

Can your expectations of others really affect their performance? Could it be that you are unconsciously helping (or hurting) others simply by your expectations of them?
A 1962 report by Rosenthal and Jacobson discussed the Pygmalion effect at length. In their study, they showed that if teachers were led to expect enhanced performance from some children, then the children did indeed show that enhancement.
It also showed that if teachers were led to expect poor performance from some children, then the children did indeed perform poorly.
The purpose of the experiment was to support the hypothesis that reality can be influenced by the expectations of others. Rosenthal’s position was that biased expectancies can essentially affect reality and create self-fulfilling prophecies as a result.
While the Rosenthal/Jacobson report focused on teacher’s expectation of students, what if this effect works on the people we interact with on a regular basis? I’m talking about family members, co-workers and others. What if we could influence these people simply by our expectations of them?
What if we could sell more of whatever it is we are selling, simply by expecting others to buy? What if we could help our kids get better grades in school, just by expecting them to perform at this higher level?
What if we could get more of the love we want and/or need simply by expecting others to be more loving? What if you could have more opportunity in any area of your life simply by expecting others to offer you more opportunity?
Expect the best from people….and you are much more likely to get it!
Try it for the next 30 days and see if it doesn’t make a difference. Let me know what you think.
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