the Pygmalion effect


In unit one, you will read about the Pygmalion effect also known as the Rosenthal effect as well as the self-fulfilling prophecy. This psychological effect derives its name from the Greek myth, Pygmalion, from Ovid‘s narrative poem Metamorphoses

You will read about the mythical story, Pygmalion, and how the self-fulfilling prophecy was introduced

to the social sciences by sociologist Merton in 1948 and later researched further by 

psychologists, Rosenthal and Jacobson, who coined the term Pygmalion effect in 1968

The purpose of this essay is to summarize, explain, and exemplify the impact of the Pygmalion effect/self-fulfilling prophecy in different areas of society. 

As you read the assigned articles, make sure to take notes on the history of how this psychological effect became known, the research facts on how it impacts people, and examples to illustrate both the positive and negative effects. These notes will help you develop the ideas for this expository essay. 


Mandatory readings:

Pygmalion And Galatea: A Myth About Creation And Love by Antonis Chaliakopoulos

What is the Pygmalion Effect? by K. Willis

The Influence of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy by Ronald B. Adler and Neil Towne

“Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Mechanisms, Power, and Links to Social Problems” by Maden et al.

Social and Personality Psychology Compass 5/8 (2011): 578–590, 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2011.00375.x

You Tube Video:  Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Definition + Examples) – by Practical Psychology


The purpose of the INTRODUCTION is to review background information on the topic that will be the focus of the essay.

Begin by defining the Pygmalion effect/self-fulfilling prophecy. Explain how this social science/psychological concept was discovered and how it was named. Briefly summarize the Greek myth, Pygmalion, and how it relates to this psychological effect. State the two types of self-fulfilling prophecies (self-imposed and imposed by others) have positive and negative effects. Lead the reader to the THESIS STATEMENT.  The THESIS STATEMENT is the most important sentence in the entire essay since it is the “backbone” of the entire essay. IF YOUR ESSAY IS MISSING THE THESIS STATEMENT, IT CANNOT BE GRADED.

(You can use the same thesis statement that’s provided- You can also reword it.)

The Pygmalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy impacts people’s perception of themselves both positively and negatively in the areas of education, business, and society.

In the body paragraphs (there are three body paragraphs), state the main idea to include the area of impact that you will discuss as it pertains to the Pygmalion effect (education, business, society).

State examples of self-imposed expectations and those imposed by others in that area and how they can affect people’s performance based on those expectations. 

You need at least THREE supporting details from the articles posted in Google Classroom on this topic.

You must use MLA in-text citations to give credit to the sources you used in each paragraph. 

Make sure not to quote more than two typed lines per paragraph. Most of the paragraphs should be summarized and paraphrased by you, the writer.

Each body paragraph should end with a transition sentence that leads the reader to the next paragraph.


The conclusion should restate the thesis statement in different words. 

Follow it with a brief summary of the impact of the Pygmalion effect in all three areas (one sentence for each area: education, business, and society). 

End the paper with a concluding sentence that highlights the importance of being aware of this social science concept.


Make sure the ENTIRE PAPER IS WRITTEN IN THIRD PERSON! This is a research essay that should use formal language.

 Avoid contractions, slang, or informal words or phrases. All sources must be cited in the essay using MLA in-text citations.

The last page of your paper should be the Works Cited page which lists, in alphabetical order, the sources you used. Please refer to MLA 8th edition guidelines.


Adler, Ronald B., and Neil Towne. “The Influence of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.”

Townsend Press Learning Center, Townsend Press, Inc.,

Boardman, Samantha. “The Pygmalion Effect: Do Expectations Shape Reality?”

HuffPost, The Huffington Post, 21 May 2016,


Fitch, Brian. "Attitudes and Performance: The Impact of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies." FBI L.

Enforcement Bull. 79 (2010): 12.

Regan, Sarah. “Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and How To Overcome Negative Ones.”

Mgbmindfulness, Mindbodygreen, 17 June 2021,


Shaw, Lynda. “A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy May Be the Difference Between Success and Failure.”

HR Magazine, MA Business, Ltd., 10 May 2021,


Willis, K. “What Is the Pygmalion Effect?” Practical Adult Insights, Conjecture Corporation, 6

Feb. 2022,


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