Remedial self-fulfilling prophecy: Two field experiments to prevent Golem effects among disadvantaged women

Oranit B. Davidson, Dov Eden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Pygmalion effect is a self-fulfilling prophecy (SFP) in which raising leader expectations boosts subordinate performance. Although attempts to produce Pygmalion effects have been successful repeatedly among men, attempts to produce Pygmalion effects with female leaders have yielded null results. Also, only 1 experiment has demonstrated the Golem effect (i.e., negative SFP in which low leader expectations impair subordinate performance). In 2 field experiments testing the SFP hypothesis among women leading disadvantaged women, experimental leaders were led to believe that their trainees had higher than usual potential. In reality, the trainees had been assigned randomly. Manipulation checks confirmed that the treatment raised leader expectations toward experimental trainees. Analysis of variance of performance detected the predicted SFP effects in both experiments. These were the first-ever experimental confirmations of SFP among women as leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-398
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000

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