Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pygmalion and Galatea effects - how they affect performance

In the last blog, we looked at stereotype and first-impression as barriers to social perception. In today's blog, we look at two affects that influence us - the Pygmalion and Galatea effects.

Having an expectation is common human tendency, when this expectation could influence to perform better there is nothing like it!

As a manager, the way we treat our subordinates is subtly influenced by what we expect them. Employees can generally be found to catch these subtle cues and can react to the expectation such as to fulfill the underlying expectation. As an example, the supervisor fails to praise a staff person's performance as frequently as he praises others. The supervisor talks less to a particular employee. If the manager/supervisor is not conscious of this aspect and is not skilled enough to realize or react to this - "he leaves scars on the careers of the young men (and women), cuts deeply into their self-esteem and distorts their image of themselves as human beings. But if he is skillful and has high expectations of his subordinates, their self-confidence will grow, their capabilities will develop and their productivity will be high. More often than he realizes, the manager is Pygmalion." [- taken from]

Galatea Effect - is found be stronger than Pygmalion effect. This is a stronger case of the well known "self-fulfilling prophecy" - In this effect the individual's opinion about one's ability and one's self-expectations about his performance largely determine one's performance.

Having mentioned about these effects it is not as direct as it sounds to be - there are number of other aspects that add to this as well - like, the organization culture, one's life experiences, family background etc.

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