The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion Effect is a winner of the American Psychological Association’s PsycShorts Video Competition!

Expectations can be powerful. Even if they’re never said out loud, the beliefs we carry in our minds can become self-fulfilling prophecies.


Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1974). Physical attractiveness. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 7, pp. 157-215). Academic Press.

Snyder, M., Tanke, E. D., & Berscheid, E. (1977). Social perception and interpersonal behavior: On the self-fulfilling nature of social stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35(9), 656.

Madon, S., Willard, J., Guyll, M., & Scherr, K. C. (2011). Self?fulfilling prophecies: Mechanisms, power, and links to social problems. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(8), 578-590.


“The Pygmalion Effect” was created and developed by Olivia Kang, Kirsten Morehouse, Evan Younger, and Mahzarin Banaji with support from Harvard University, PwC, and Johnson & Johnson.

Narration by Olivia Kang

Music was composed by Evan Younger and Miracles of Modern Science

Illustrations by Olivia Kang, with contributions from Kirsten Morehouse and Patricia Liu

Editing by Olivia Kang and Evan Younger.