Our expectations of others alter with their mentality and affect their performance.
We usually believe that everyone is independent and responsible for their own outcome. That’s true mostly, but what if I told you that you can interfere and affect their outcome yourself?
This process requires no meddling of any kind. There’s actually a psychological phenomenon that enhances others' performance, and it’s called the Pygmalion effect.
Psychologist Robert Rosenthal conducted a study in a California school, aiming to measure the impact of teachers’ expectations on students’ academic performance. He collected data using a disguised IQ test taken by the students at the beginning and the end of the study. He gave teachers names of some random students that were referred to as special and have more potential. The teachers, however, were not aware of the study taking place. All they had in mind was that there were kids who had more potential than others (this was to see if the teachers would treat these students any differently).
Results showed that these students (the ones that were referred to have higher expectations) showed a drastic increase in their IQ level. Thus, proving that high expectations positively affected their performance and outcome.
Here are the four phases of the Pygmalion effect:
1. Your Beliefs about them
There are a lot of things that come to perspective when talking about the way we see others. Sometimes people remind us of someone who affected us over the years, or even of ourselves when we were younger. Maybe one person reminds us of a famous athlete or CEO. This creates a background image of that person in our minds.
We’re not aware of the things happening in our subconscious. And this plays a major role in our belief system and expectations about someone.
Your beliefs about others affect the way you act towards them.