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Understanding the Galatea Effect: A Positive Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Galatea effect is when someone believes in their abilities, it causes them to achieve their goals. / Photo by: Sergey Nivens via 123rf

 

When a person believes in their abilities and as a result, actually achieves their goal, it is a demonstration of the concept known as the Galatea Effect. This idea was first introduced in 1982 when the three psychologists Alisha Babad, Jacinto Inbar and Robert Rosenthal’s study was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Exploring Your Mind says it is a cognitive factor that causes a person to achieve results. The Galatea Effect is also described as “the willpower to succeed”. This positive self-fulfilling prophecy is based on the Greek myth about Pygmalion and Galatea.

 

The Tale of Pygmalion and Galatea

According to the Greek myth, there was a king from Crete named Pygmalion who was in search of an ideal wife. Being unable to find the perfect woman for him, he decided to make a sculpture of his ideal woman instead. The statue represented all the traits that he wanted in a woman, both in appearance and values. The statue which he named Galatea showed beauty, gentleness, magnificence, sensitivity and other features that characterize his idea of a model wife.

After creating Galatea, he admired the statue’s perfection and began to fall in love with it. Upon seeing how Pygmalion cherished Galatea, she was overcome by her emotions. She was driven to make the statue come to life so that Pygmalion could finally have the wife of his dreams. When Galatea became a real woman, Pygmalion was at last able to encounter his ideal wife. He married Galatea and lived a wonderful life with her from then on.

 

Galatea Effect Definition

The Galatea Effect predicts that if an individual is confident that they are capable of reaching their objective, then they more likely to attain it. In contrast, if they doubt that they actually have the ability to attain the goal, this lessens their probability of attaining it. Their conviction of being able to achieve their goal determines whether or not they will succeed in life.

This self-belief can also affect other people’s perception of a person’s ability to realize their ambitions. If they are confident that their skills and talents can help them reach their goals, others will also be influenced to believe that the person can do it. On the other hand, if the person does not believe that they are capable of reaching the goal, others may also come to believe that they will not be able to achieve it.

This is explained by the quote by Norman Vincent Peale which says, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”

The Galatea Effect is often practiced in the workplace as well as in sports competitions when athletes imagine themselves winning.

 

If they are confident that their skills and talents can help them reach their goals, others will also be influenced to believe that the person can do it. / Photo by: maridav via 123rf

 

Three Factors That Activate the Galatea Effect

It is important to note that in order to apply the Galatea effect, a person must be able to visualize where they are in connection to their goal. The way a person thinks can affect their ability to reach a specific goal. There are three factors that enable a person to activate it:

Possibility

This means that their mission is realistic.

Capacity

This is a person’s ability to use their skills to their advantage.

Merit

This means that a person should have a positive attitude in working towards their goal.

 

 

How to Apply the Galatea Effect In Life

The first step that one must take is to ensure that their goal is realistically attainable. Next, they must be able to gain the ability to reach their goal. To do this they must be able to know which skills they have to use in order to achieve what they have planned. They should be confident in their abilities, otherwise, this will hinder them from being able to reach their goal.

Afterwards, they should acquire a positive self-concept and a high self-esteem. The way in which they perceive themselves may lead them to become successful in attaining their goal or may cause them to fail from doing so. They must see themselves as being worthy enough to be fulfilled and happy in their life. They should also examine if there are things that make them question their abilities. They may reflect on whether or not they easily give up on tasks because they do not view themselves as a successful individual.

Lastly, they should be able to recognize their identity, point out their strengths and find out what they are worthy of. If they feel that they are unworthy of success, then chances are, they will really not become successful.

Self-motivation comes from a person’s expectations of themselves. If they are able to think highly of themselves, consequently, they will have self-confidence or belief in their strengths in abilities. The Galatea Effect can help an individual become more motivated to make their dreams come to fruition and eventually become the successful person they desire to become.

 

One of the ways to apply the Galatea effect in life is to self motivate because if an individual thinks highly of themselves, the more they will believe in their abilities. / Photo by: racorn via 123rf

 

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