Last year I wrote a blog post about how expectations held by others have influenced my life. I’m happy to share this post written by my friend Lorraine which also examines this idea.
I have heard of great expectations before, but when I listened to an interview on NPR recently, it gave the whole concept a new twist for me.
Bob Rosenthal is a research psychologist. Early in his career, he went into his lab and put signs on his rat cages. Some of the cages he labeled “smart rats” and other cages he labeled “stupid rats.” All the rats were average rats he bought from a research institute.
He had his graduate students run all the rats through a maze. The ones that were labeled “smart” did more than two times better in the maze than the ones that were labeled “stupid.” Based on those results, he figured out that the expectations that the experimenters had in their heads subtly changed the performance of the rats. The ones that were labeled “smart” were touched more often and handled more gently than the…
View original post 1,007 more words