the voice of unreason
“Pygmalion“, for instance..
…….. an interesting and illuminating character out of Greek Literature.
A committed bachelor, Pygmalion acquired a particularly beautiful piece of ivory and started to carve the figure of a woman.
Soon, he became quite taken with the sculpture.
He subsequently attended the rites at the Festival of Venus, and made a sacrifice at the altar,
…..while quietly meditating on his wish for a bride that would be the living likeness of his ivory girl.
He touched her breast, and felt the ivory turn to flesh.
His wish had been fulfilled by Venus.
Now, this story has several implications for those interested in human potential.
One is the power of love — most of Ovid’s work was about this , in one form or another.
I am a true believer in this power, but it’s not our topic today.
Another, and the one we’ll talk about here, is the power of belief .
We know, of course, that Ovid’s story is fiction, sure.
It is, however, useful in explaining the principle using symbolic language.
It also demonstrates why the phenomenon of raised-expections-equals-improved-results is referred to as the ” Pygmalion Effect ” .
And, the intervention of a Greek Goddess is not always necessary to see this effect in action.
There is a common adage among those interested in the study of human potential which is called the “Thomas Theorem” ( after Sociologist D.S. Thomas ) :
” If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences. “
In group dynamics, this means that a group of people, sharing a mass belief, modify aspects of their environment to bring the environment more in line with their belief.
At the beginning of the day, the bank was solvent, with enough assets to cover their usual needs.
But, something triggers a large group of withdrawals, and once this is observed, others also withdraw their money, causing rumors of insolvency, which of course, causes more and more withdrawals, until….
…………………… the prediction finally becomes the reality.
- Have you heard of Pygmalion effect? (pkmuthiah.wordpress.com)
- 6 Psychological Effects That Alter Our Perception of Other People (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)