Dr. Shraddha Verma

Dean, Faculty of Education

Kalinga University.

In ancient Greek mythology, a king of Cyprus named Pygmalion created a statue of a woman with all the feminine ideals and eventually fell in love with her (statue of a woman) and treated her as if she was alive. Everyday Pygmalion begged Aphrodite (Greek Goddess) to bring his statue to life. Aphrodite took pity on him and breathed life into the statue. It was Pygmalion’s handling of the statue that led to its revival. From here originated the word PYGMALION EFFECT.

The Pygmalion effect also known as Rosenthal Effect, is…the idea that expecting something to happen can actually cause it to happen. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy and a belief that becomes a positive reality. The term “self-fulfilling prophecy,” coined by sociologist Robert Merton, means that false beliefs about people bring about the realization of those beliefs.

For example, if a teacher tells a student that he can or cannot do something, the student will eventually begin to behave in the way the teacher expects. The higher the expectations placed on students or children, the better the performances. The attitude of teachers can vary greatly.

Low achievers may be perceived as less motivated, less autonomous, less attentive, and less willing to take risks than high achievers. This can cause the teacher to limit interaction with them and be unsure of when interaction will occur.

Sometimes we find that perception is gender biased, leading to adult judgments such as “women gossip and men argue”. This type of misconception has long-term self-fulfilling effects. This can cause the teacher to limit interaction with them and be unsure of when interactions are taking place.

Positive expectations affect performance positively and negative expectations affect performance negatively. Teachers usually seem to plan and prepare better for the best performing classrooms. Underperforming classrooms tend to emphasize basic skills rather than higher order thinking activities

Such students are more likely to cheat and copy notes that influence the teacher’s behaviour. A teacher’s expectations are likely to change based on the observed attitudes and behaviours of an individual, small group, or class. A teacher’s pedagogical beliefs, philosophy, or methodology may also influence expectations. A teacher who focuses more on a holistic approach to teaching that emphasizes group work and cooperative learning could reduce the negative effects of teacher expectations.

Children who feel secure in their relationships with their teachers often feel happier, while students who feel less secure with their teachers may experience more anxiety and depression. Teachers’ lack of interest in the subject can result in less attention and students not learning as much as they do from a teacher trained in the field

Water is heated at 211 degrees Fahrenheit, and when it boils at 212 degrees, steam is produced. Additionally, a locomotive can be propelled by this steam. One degree more in the water’s temperature can make the difference between something that is merely hot and something that produces enough force to move a large train.


There are numerous ways to add that one additional degree to go above and beyond what is regarded to be possible. The Compliment Sandwich is critical feedback that doesn’t make the receiver feel guilty. In essence, it occurs when you start by complimenting someone, then offer some constructive criticism before ending with another complement.


We all have watched the famous movie TARE ZAMEEN PAR where Nikumbh sir (Amir Khan) played the role of a drawing teacher; also he was the best example portraying the Pygmalion effect. The reverse of Pygmalion Effect was Golem effect portrayed by Nand Kumar Awasthi who played the role of Ishan’s Father. When lower expectations are placed upon individuals either by supervisors, teachers or the individual themselves which lead to poorer performance by the individual. This is called Golem effect. Instead, our teachers should practice The Galatea effect which involves raising an individual’s self-efficacy to increase the performance. The Galatea effect occurs only if there is actual increase in self-efficacy, as well as increase in performance.


Some of the recognizable negative behavioural expectations for students, such as paying less attention to lower-achieving students (less smiling and eye contact). Calling low levels less often and give less time to answer. After successful responses, praise decreases less often. Demand less from the minimum than from the maximum. Interrupting lows less often than highs.

Focus on pupils’ talents, not their flaws, to get around this and demonstrate positive expectations. Create a pleasant and motivating atmosphere for the pupils.

Give students more vocal feedback, more praise, more constructive criticism, and more verbal indications about how they are doing. Promote question-asking among students. Engage students and, if feasible, make advantage of their input.

Be kind and liberal with your praise.


To conclude with, Positive expectations can influence performance positively, and negative expectations can influence performance negatively. Positive expectations can significantly boost the performance and even boost the IQ scores.



  • Mitchell, Terence R.; Daniels, Denise (2003). “Motivation”. In Walter C. Borman; Daniel R. Ilgen; Richard J. Klimoski (eds.). Handbook of Psychology (volume 12). John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 229. ISBN0-471-38408-9.
  • Raudenbush, Stephen W. (1984). “Magnitude of teacher expectancy effects on pupil IQ as a function of the credibility of expectancy induction: A synthesis of findings from 18 experiments”. Journal of Educational Psychology. 76: 85–97. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.76.1.85.
  • Robert Rosenthal; Lenore Jacobson (September 1968). “Pygmalion in the classroom”. The Urban Review. 3 (1): 16–20. doi:10.1007/BF02322211. ISSN0042-0972. Wikidata Q29544249.
  • Rosenthal, Robert; Jacobson, Lenore (1992). Pygmalion in the classroom : teacher expectation and pupils’ intellectual development (Newly expanded ed.). Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, Wales: Crown House Pub. ISBN978-1904424062.
  • Oskar Pfungst (2010). “CHAPTER IV LABORATORY TESTS”. Clever Hans (The Horse of Mr. von Osten). Translator: Carl L. Rahn – via
  • Thorndike, R.L. (1968). Reviewed work: Pygmalion in the classroom by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. American Educational Research Journal, 5(4), 708–711.




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