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Pygmalion Effect

            Most people have heard about the Pygmalion effect, or the possibilities of effecting ones behavior by your belief in their ability. This is also known as the self fulfilling prophecy (Digest, 2003) the effect was highlighted in the play "My Fair Lady," this was where Eliza Doolittle's success was enhanced by Professor Higgins belief in her ability. Is it possible to affect one's behavior by your belief in their ability, or is this just fallacy?.
             During everyday life this theory might not be recognizable; to the average person it might not even be important. But what happens when the person effecting behavior is in the position of authority? What say a teacher, how would their opinion affect the performance of a student. Just for a moment think about the first day of a new semester, a group of students enter the room. The group consists of black, fat, skinny and white students; some are what you might call beautiful, some ugly with acne. Also mixed in with the group are the usual jocks (sport motivated) and the young teenage girls that spend their free time with daddies BMW whopping it up at the mall. At the end of the line arrive the poor, lower class students whose parents are unemployed, dad just lost his job at the mill type. .
             You stand at the front of the classroom surveying the new recruits. Would you categorize these students, judge them in anyway? Or would you look freely across the room without any pre-judgment? Teachers all over the world encounter this problem everyday. Take the fat black student, he sits in class everyday, never takes a note and scores a 100% on the first test. What is your first reaction? Do you congratulate him, or do you try and remember who he was sitting next to? Conversely when the handsome upper class student scores 100%, is your reaction the same or different? .
             We categorize people everyday. America is one of many countries where success is directly related to the amount of worldly possessions one has accrued.

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