Pygmalion and galatea: The interactive effect of teacher and student expectancies

Mark P. Zanna, Peter L. Sheras, Joel Cooper, Charles Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the manipulation of both teacher and student expectancies upon performance. Subjects were students from 6-8th grades participating in a summer enrichment program in Mathematics and English. Teachers were given positive expectancies about the potential of half of the students and no expectancies regarding the other half. In addition, half of the students in each of these groups were told that they would probably perform well in the program while half were given no such expectations. Each student's verbal and mathematics performance was measured by a standardized test before and at the end of the program. Results whowed an interaction between teacher and student expectancies such that, while each positive expectancy by itself yielded an improvement in academic performance, the two positive expectancies in combination did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1975

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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