The study being conducted on self-fulfilling prophecy will determine rather there is a direct correlation between a positive professor, a negative professor, and a neutral group with no professor opinion. The study will contain 30 undergraduate students from McNeese State University who are currently enrolled in a psychology class. Each group will contain 10 participants and 1 professor. The participants will randomly be assigned to the three different groups. Each student is given a pre-test before groups are determined.
The groups are then determined and each student is then enrolled in an 8 week course each with a professor being positive, negative, or neutral. At the end of the course the professor will give each student in the groups a Likert scale to complete with questions based on a chosen topic. The researcher will run a Pearson correlation coefficient analysis on the data to determine if there is a correlation between participant’s scores depending on if the participant had a professor with a positive, negative, or neutral professor.
The hypothesis is that the participants with the negative professor will score lower than the participants with a positive or neutral professor. Keywords: self-fulfilling prophecy The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Student Performance What is self-fulfilling prophecy? The prophecy in which you become something because you are told or an assumption is made about a certain something that can reflect your behaviors towards that target, person, or event. The self-fulfilling prophecy happens when persons are presented with a situation or task which makes them feel overwhelmed and they are unable to process how to efficiently complete it.
While the self-fulfilling prophecy can be placed upon an individual themselves, it is also that others can determine the outcome behavior when placing their expectations on them. Ultimately, what we do and how we behave hinges largely upon our conviction about what we are and what we can do. (Raman) There are two different forms of self-fulfilling prophecies, positive and negative, both which can determine behavioral results. The positive self-fulfilling prophecy is known as the Pygmalion Effect and the negative self-fulfilling prophecy is known as the Golem effect.
Pygmalion Effect1 The Pygmalion Effect is known as having higher expectations that will lead to an increase in performance. According to a study done by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson if teachers were led to expect a greater performance from their students, then the student’s academic performance was enhanced. (Rosenthal & Jacobson) The indication behind the Pygmalion Effect is that those with affirmative labels prosper for the reason that the leader’s expectations increase the performance of the follower.
A prime example of this effect would be accurately explained by using an educational environment involving a teacher’s positive expectations for their students to achieve a greater outcome on their performance. Golem Effect. While we have discussed the positive side of the self-fulfilling prophecy, there is correspondingly a negative effect that is known as the Golem Effect. The Golem effect is when lower expectations are placed upon individuals either by the individuals themselves or others that can lead to poorer erformances by the individual. Unlike the Pygmalion Effect it is important to note that the Golem Effect is more difficult to prove due to ethical standings that could potentially damage an individual’s self-worth. According to Dennis Reynolds “Researchers have consistently found that artificial boosting the expectations of an authority figure (teacher, instructor, and boss) regarding the potential of his/her charges, improves the performance of those subjects compared to the control group. ” (Reynolds).
Contribution to the Literature. The research above shows that when expectations are artificially boosted by a respected authority figure involving the progress of their charges, the artificial boost can improve the performance of subjects who were not giving an artificial boost. The study involving the Pygmalion Effect it is said that when teachers expect children to perform well, the children do in fact perform better. The hypothesis of the study showed that our world can be positively or negatively influences by expectations. Rosenthal argued that bias expectancies could affect reality and create self-fulfilling prophecies. ” (Rosenthal & Jacobson) Method Participants The build of participants will contain 30 university students who are enrolled in lower-level undergraduate classes at McNeese State University and who are volunteering to participate in the study. Participants will be given on bonus point per professor in which the class they are enrolled. Design
The study will use a three group, random selection, based on pretest and posttest correlational design in which participants’ performances are compared according to pretest and posttest scores. Materials The study will use a five point Likert scale (see Appendix A), a pretest and posttest that are given to the participants. Regarding ethical requirements, the participants will be provided with a consent form created by the researcher.
Procedure A month before the day of the study, the researcher will place sign-up sheet in Farrar Hall at McNeese State University. There will also be a professor who will relay the message to their lowlevel students to participate in the study that will help them receive extra credit points. The sheet that will be placed will provide a place, date, and time for the study. The day of the study, participants will be provided with an ethical consent with an overview of the study, outline and benefits involved, and the confidentiality of the study.
The researcher will then give the pretest that will measure how much they already about the given topic being taught that will go on for eight weeks. Once the pretest is received, participants will randomly be placed in three different groups by using a randomization tool Group A will be provided an optimistic professor, Group B will be provided with a pessimistic professor, and Group C will be considered the control group, and they will be provided with a professor who is neutral to their learning with no opinion provided.
Over an eight week course participants will attend classes every day to be taught new materials by their professors. Once the classes have ended the participants will then be given a posttest and be provided with a survey that will conclude how they felt after taking the class with the professor they were provided with. The Researcher will also debrief the participants on the study. Ethics The researcher will make sure that all participants receive an informal consent.
The consent for will state that at any point during the study they are able to withdraw if they would like and that all answers concerning the pretest, posttest, and survey will remain anonymous. It will give a precise time of how long the study will last, the benefits, and consequences of the study. Also, there will be a debriefing at the end of the study to inform students about the professors and why they were told to act a specific way towards the course being taught and the students.