Ever believed in someone so much that when the person didn’t let you down, you began to feel like maybe your trust in them gave them the fuel to do the great things you considered them capable of? Well, just like nearly everything has a scientific/logical explanation, this too wasn’t left out.
It is called the Pygmalion effect and this name was gotten from ancient greek. It was first discovered by Rosenthal and Jacobson in a classroom, in 1968.
They had given the students a test before they went ahead to identify a few students as what they called, intellectual superstars. Their names were then handed over to their teachers.
At the end of the semester/term, another test was taken and the superstars did better than other classmates. This result is just what you expected. Well, wait till you hear the catch.
The intellectual superstars were picked at random. The only thing that differentiated the superstars from the rest of the class is the treatment they got from their teachers.
The Pygmalion effect is simply when your expectations of someone influence their performance. Because of your idea or perception of somebody, you unintentionally treat them in a certain type of way, about what you think of them, and along the line, you eventually pass on your belief of themselves even more so that they act in accordance to what you expected of them.
For the test explained above, the teachers believed that certain students were brighter. This must-have changed the way they interacted with the bright ones. Their positive behavior had influenced the students to believe that they were smart and could get good grades and just like that, their actions had aligned with the expectations.
This continues in a cycle which also helps in explaining it better. Your beliefs influence your actions, Your actions impact their beliefs, then their beliefs go ahead to cause their actions which also reinforces your beliefs again.
The Pygmalion effect has not only been reported to exist in a classroom but also in workplaces and social settings like a family and even in a relationship.
The opposite of the Pygmalion effect is known as Golem Effect. It can be described as when your negative expectations influence a negative performance.
Now you see how powerful your mind is? With the knowledge of this, you have been given an upper hand on directives to influence your students, workers, children, or partners to attain greater heights.
In summary, you can use the Pygmalion effect to your advantage. What you think of them goes a long way in shaping them so think positive, act positively and expect positive results. Now you know for sure how powerful your mind is.