Pygmalion effect and world scenario

Welcome to the world of Pygmalion effect! If you are unaware about this effect, let me explain it to you. Pygmalion effect is the phenomenon whereby other’s expectations of a target person affect the person’s performance. Is this real? Decades of research have provided consistent, robust evidence that the answer is yes. The concept of self fulfilling prophecy (the sociopsychological phenomenon of someone ‘’predicting’’ or expecting something, and this ‘’prediction’’ or expectation coming true simply because the person believes it will and the person’s resulting behaviors aligning to fulfill the belief. It is also known as Rosenthal effect, named after researcher Robert Rosenthal at Harvard. In a first study, he challenged test subjects to coach rats through a maze. Half of the group were told their rats were extremely intelligent and specifically trained, while the other half were told their rats were normal. In fact all the rats were the same. During the experiment, the ‘’smart rats’’ performed well better than the other. This shows how the coaches influenced the rat’s performance.  It comes down to the concepts of the self-fulfilling prophecy and the Pygmalion effect.

Why is it called the Pygmalion effect? The name is given because it is based on the story of ‘pygmalion’ who is the legendary figure of Cyprus in Greek Mythology. In book 10 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pygmalion was a Cyptroit sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. According to Ovid, after seeing propoetides prostituting themselves, Pygmalion declared that he was ‘’not interested in women’’. He saw women as flawed creatures and vowed never to waste any moment of his life with them. He dedicated himself to work and soon created Galatea, a beautiful stature of a woman out of ivory. Ironically, the masterpiece of his life was this statue of a woman. When he finished the statue's features, Pygmalion, who has professed disdain for all females, fell deeply in love with the statue. Such a passion could not go unnoticed by the goddess of love, Aphrodite. So she brought Galatea to life. The story is an extreme example of how positive reinforcement can lead to good results.The Pygmalion effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area. 

The Pygmalion effect is seen everywhere in home, in schools, in the workplace, just everywhere. The views and impressions about some other person affect your opinions on them to varying degrees. For example, if Mr. x is  introduced  to you as the one who appreciates you for whatsoever reason, you start radiating the same or more positive vibes to that person unexpectedly and you excel in anything that Mr. x has praised you. It motivates you towards excellence and self- belief. The mind functions accordingly and everything happens as expected. If Mr.Y compliments you as ‘’beautiful’’, you start feeling good about yourself and the person who said as well, in that way you grow more beautiful to yourself and others. Our belief towards another person’s abilities influences our actions towards the other person. This action has an impact on the other’s beliefs about themselves which cause other’s actions towards you. The same bitter or sweet gestures or actions reinforce the beliefs about that person and it continues. Has this theory ever affected you?