Pygmalion Without Interpersonal Contrast Effects: Whole Groups Gain From Raising Manager Expectations

Dov Eden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

Past Pygmalion research has been susceptible to interpersonal contrast effects, rendering it uncertain whether raising managers' expectations toward subordinates can improve performance without reference to control Ss in the same group. Twenty-nine platoons in the Israel Defense Forces were randomly assigned to Pygmalion or control conditions to test the hypothesis that raising manager expectations boosts performance without contrast effects. Leaders of the Pygmalion platoons were informed that their subordinates on average had unusually high command potential. Platoon-level analysis of performance showed that Pygmalion platoons significantly outscored control platoons, confirming the Pygmalion hypothesis. Manager expectation effects are not dependent on interpersonal contrast effects; in addition, the Pygmalion approach appears well suited to applications involving whole groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990

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