The Pygmalion effect

Parables and Illustrations for Values Education

Contents Illustrations and Parables

When he speaks of the theory of expectations, one of the best to view it in practice. Accordingly, then appears, a very important concept in education, family life and all labor media: the Pygmalion effect. This is fundamental to highlight the consequences of an effective motivation.
Greek mythology tells that the Cypriot sculptor Pygmalion was a solitary man, who did not want to commit to any woman. One day began to sculpt the effigy of a maiden, and was slowly, chiseling it with so much love and devotion that made the most perfect statue had never seen eye human. Pygmalion put a cute outfit and a wreath of flowers on the head and gave him a passionate kiss, but her sadness was infinite because he had fallen in love with a simple sculpture.
Venus, the goddess of love, who watched him still facing his work, one day took pity on him. It passed next to the statue, and with a single blow, gave birth to such magnificent beauty. The statue fell from its pedestal and gently approached to Pygmalion, not going out of astonishment. Thus was born Galatea, who became the wife of the artist and the mother of Phapos.
So powerful was the expectation of Pygmalion that their desires and their love became reality.
The effect of expectations about the behaviour of others has been research for years. Experiments in preschool schools have been made, for example. In one case, is said to the teacher that certain children were bright and that other students in the Group were not so much (the selection was made randomly and did not respond to any evidence of technical intelligence). At the end of the course, it was discovered that children identified as intelligent, in fact, obtained the best grades and the best advances in all aspects of their development. By contrast, students in the lower grade - or supposedly lower - presented a considerable school delay.
When told the teacher about the results of this research, he was surprised. What had happened? She argued that he had meticulous alike with all children, but was tested--perhaps in an unconscious - had given him more positive reinforcement to the "best": it stimulated them, put them to participate, helping them and criticized them less. To the "less intelligent" he didn't know them and criticized, it gave them no help in time or the possibility of participating.
The teacher expected much more "intelligent" and offered them more help and support. On the other hand, expected little from the "less intelligent" and helped them so insufficient.
Let's look at another case. When a new Chief took office, as part of their induction they handed him the evaluation of each of the employees who would oversee. Apparently, should act based on previous prejudice then do, consciously or unconsciously, the job who pointed him out. But instead, the new Chief asked a reasonable time to assess his own colleagues and then compared their assessment that they had given him. The surprise was when he found valuable potential in a person who was about to be sacked, who not only reacted favorably to the new style of leadership, but it retained their jobs.
The effects of the Pygmalion - believe genuine and honestly in the capabilities, values and skills of another person - produce motivated individuals who begin to believe in themselves and as a result, deployed all its energies to deserve this support.
Translated for educational purposes