Saturday, February 27, 2016

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy-Create Your Own Identity

"The contents of this [blog] are personal and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps."

“Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can be and ought to be, and he will become as he can be and should be.”

There was this study that randomly assigned students to “intelligent” or “average”. The results at the end of the year? The “intelligent” group was indeed more intelligent gaining 1/3 more IQ points than other students. Now let me re-iterate. These students were RANDOMLY selected to be labeled as “intelligent” they had the same merits and skills as the other students, and yet once labeled as intelligent, they became intelligent. Why?

The theory is the confirmation bias or self-fulfilling prophecy. The idea is that the observee(in this case, the student) conforms to the label that is put on them. Label them as average and they engage in average performance, while if you label them as intelligent, they can become intelligent.

And it’s not just with students. Malcolm Gladwell pointed out this confirmation bias with youth hockey players who had earlier birthdates(and were thus likely to be more physically mature than their younger peers). These “better” players got more attention and were more likely to be put on better teams and therefore become better. This self-fulfilling prophecy can be good thing or negative.
Imagine that someone told you that you were lazy or stupid. Could it be possible that you then start attributing your failures to your intrinsic laziness or stupidity? By doing so, you may avoid situations that expand your mind or challenge your capabilities. Eventually, with a stagnant mind and inactive body, you have become lazy and stupid.

But it doesn’t have to be! We all have the potential to be great. Just know, I think you will succeed and that you are all intelligent, beautiful people. Yes… Even YOU.

Until next time,


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