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What is Pygmalion Effect definition/concept

The accounts of mythology are much more than simple stories from the past. In this sense, many of the Greek myths served as an inspiration to explain all kinds of human reality. The Pygmalion – Galatea effect is a good example of this. Pygmalion Effect 

The fundamental idea

In the 1960s, psychologists Rosenthal and Jacobson experimented with a group of teachers and students. He communicated to the teachers that his students had passed and passed a series of tests that demonstrated their highest capacities.

At the end of the course, students obtained excellent academic results. The curious thing about this experiment is the fact that these initial tests never took place.

The researchers drew the following conclusion : the good results were due to the fact that teachers have high expectations in relation to their students. Pygmalion Effect 

In the field of psychology , this experience demonstrates that a person’s expectations can have a favorable or unfavorable influence on the performance of others. Thus, when a father tells his son that he expects a lot from him, it is very likely that he will react positively, as a father’s words serve to boost self-esteem and personal motivation. Obviously, for the Pygmalion-Galathe effect to work correctly, it is necessary that the projected expectations are based on real possibilities of success and not on assumptions.

A strategy that can be incorporated in the context of teaching

The findings of the Pygmalion-Galathe effect have been useful to activate all kinds of strategies in the field of education . Thus, psychologists, pedagogues and educators use this resource to motivate their students in their training process . Pygmalion Effect 

the mythological account

In various accounts of Greek mythology and in the work “The Metamorphoses” by the Roman poet Ovid, it is said that Pygmalion was a sad and lonely king who lived on the island of Cyprus. The king’s only passion was sculpture and, for this reason, he decided to sculpt the marble statue of a perfect and ideal woman . When he finished the sculpture, he named it Galatea.

Although he was completely satisfied with his work, the king was frustrated that he could not love a woman of marble. Her impossible love caught the attention of the goddess Aphrodite, who, moved by the sincere feeling of the king, made Galatea become a true woman of flesh and blood.

In this way, King Pygmalion decided to marry his beloved Galatea and, according to mythological tradition, the island of Paphos was born from the union of both. Pygmalion Effect 

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