According to Ovid, Pygmalion fell in love with his sculpture Galatea. Aphrodite, in an act of kindness to Pygmalion, then gave life to this beloved idealized sculpture. George Bernard Shaw’s interpretation of the Pygmalion myth portrayed Henry Higgins’s using language to transform a cockney flower girl into an elegant lady. Today, although the ability to produce the ideal mate does not exist, analogous to these situations is the fact that expectations can produce psychological and physiological characteristics in others. Such an ability is now often referred to as either the Pygmalion effect or the self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby people conform and internalize what others expect or prophesize for them. The Pygmalion effect is more than mere intuitive speculation in today’s society. Its effects are well documented in both academic and on-the-job situations as well as inside and outside of laboratory settings. Science does not know how the process works, but it does know it occurs and that it possesses the power to hinder and to help the development of others (Rosenthal, 1973).
KeywordsSocial Skill Physical Attractiveness Personal Space Stimulus Person Influence Strategy
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