In 1968, an educational study was done by by two researchers named Rosenthal and Jacobson which showed that teacher expectations influence student performance. Positive expectations influence performance positively and negative expectations influence performance negatively. This results of this study were called the Pygmalion Effect.
Here’s how it worked. They gave a classroom of elementary school students a pretest. Then they told the teachers that 20% of the students were showing “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and would bloom academically within the year. The teachers did not know this was all made up. The students were really all average. When Rosenthal and Jacobson tested the students eight months later, they discovered that the students they had randomly selected who teachers thought would bloom academically scored significantly higher than the students the teachers thought were just average.
So what does that mean to you and me? I believe if we look at people negatively we are apt to see negative performance. And, I believe if we look at people imagining the very best about them, we will see positive results. The research says what I am telling you is true.
That’s why we need to train our eyes to see the best in people. Every person you lock eyes with is special. They are a walking talking miracle. They have endured more than you can imagine and they have at least to date, made it. They have survived. You will be amazed at how much nicer people are when you see them as special and good. Cut people some slack. Believe the best about everyone and remember positive expectations are more likely to lead to positive performance. That really is a key to truly big living.