Free Press Journal

What You Expect, You Get

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You have to understand that you get what you deserve and not what you desire. You are your own fortune-teller. You are your own astrologer. You are your own numerologist. Successful people are those who have the attitude of confidence and expectation. Unsuccessful people who have a negative attitude cause situations to work as they expect it to be.

In his book Pygmalion in the Classroom, Dr. Robert Rosenthal from Harvard University, describes how expectations of teachers have an enormous impact on the performance of their students.

Students who were expected to do well did much better in the class, fulfilling their prophecy. In an experiment conducted in San Francisco by Dr. Rosenthal, three teachers of a school were called into the principal’s office and told: “We have been observing your teaching and we have come to the conclusion that you are the best teachers in the school. We are going to give each of you a class of the brightest students in this school. These children have been selected on the basis of IQ tests and we expect them to increase their achievements by about thirty per cent. Kindly keep this as confidential, as we do not want to be accused of discrimination.”


The teachers were delighted. They went about their jobs with tremendous enthusiasm and commitment.

The researches monitored the progress of the teachers and students for a whole academic year. The teachers spent extra time in tutoring weak students even after school hours. At the end of the year, the students from the three selected classes were found to be far ahead in their grades than the rest of students in the school.

The principal was pleased as just as had hoped, the progress made was thirty per cent more in academic excellence. The principal summoned the teachers and congratulated them. The teachers said that they enjoyed the teaching, even when handling difficult students.

It was then that the principal disclosed to them that it was only an experiment. The teachers’ names had been chosen by lottery and they were assigned classes randomly. In fact, the students they were told to teach were just average. Needless to say, that the teachers were surprised but discovered that with perseverance and commitment they could raise their teaching standards.