Researcher Bob Rosenthal scientifically demonstrated this, first with rats. He labeled some as smart and some as dumb without telling anyone. When they were put in a Skinner Box, the "smart" ones completed the task twice as fast as the "dumb" ones. Problem is, they were the exact same ordinary white lab rats.
So, the question then is: Why did they perform better?
Answer: because of the perceptions of the people handling the rats. Researchers touched the "smart" rats more, treated them more warmly, even talked to them differently. The Pygmalion Effect: A type of self-fulfilling prophecy where if you think something will happen, you may unconsciously make it happen through your actions or inaction.
Carol Dweck, (psychology researcher at Stanford, Author, Growth Mindset), in this recent podcast said when we have negative expectations or perceptions we usually stand further away from people, we touch them less, make less eye contact. And we are COMPLETELY UNAWARE of how our expectations impact the way we engage people.
Our perceptions and expectations (our thoughts) literally move people.
- Teacher expectations can increase student IQ scores. John Hattie's research found that this teacher belief has the highest impact on student achievement.
- Mothers' expectations can impact drinking levels of middle school students
- Military leaders expectations can impact how fast soldiers run
There are many studies showing the impact of how people perform in relation to how they are expected to perform. Even the very labels placed on them impact their performance. Read about "Brown Eyes vs. Blue Eyes" experiment or watch this documentary. This obviously takes the thinking concept and brings it to a whole new level, but it still applies to my Jedi-way of thinking. Read this article/watch videos (Warning: 2nd video has a swear word) on how thoughts impacted rice in water.
Rosenthal did an experiment similar to the rats but with teachers. They were told they could expect X from this group of students and Y from the other. Rosenthal found that "teachers appear to teach more and to teach it more warmly to students for whom they have more favorable expectations."
-How are you using your powers?
-Are your students performing better because you
have positive perceptions and expectations for them?
-Or are you, without even knowing it,
actually causing them to perform worse?
-DO YOUR STUDENTS BELIEVE
THAT YOU BELIEVE IN THEM??