The Rosenthal Effect

Robert Rosenthal famously suggested that the eventual outcome tend to conform to one's initial expectations or prejudice.

Simply put, there are self-fulfilling prophecies.

Came across this theory in a book about educational psychology and decided to check it out further.

In Rosenthal's and Leonore's experiment, teachers were given a list of students who supposedly scored for a Harvard Test. These kids, the teachers were told, would grow up to be high achievers. (The names were actually picked randomly from a class list.)

Surprisingly, at the end of the academic year, these students really fared better in IQ tests. In addition, the teachers reflected that these kids are better behaved, more intellectually curious and people-oriented.

Therein lies the secret to greater achievement. When there're empowering beliefs in one, one would tend to flourish. The converse is frightfully true too. Anyone deemed hopeless would behave in wanton, self-destructive ways.

Sustaining favourable beliefs in people can be draining. Any teacher/ parent/ executive/ coach can tell one that. But the efforts might be worth its while in the long run.

Just a song that I often take comfort in: