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The Golem effect on development

October 8, 2010

The way we perceive others actually can affect how people will actually work. This is the idea behind the self-fulfilling prophecy. And the prophecy can obviously be positive (Pygmalion Effect) or negative (Golem Effect). To say it shortly, the Pymalion Effect is when high expectations tend to lead to high results versus the Golem Effect when poor expectations lead to poor performance.
I was wondering how the self-filling prophecy applies on countries’ development. Are people from developping countries trapped in this Golem Effect circle: the government expecting a little from the people (“they are poor and ignorant”) and the people expecting a little from the government (“they are incompetent and corrupted”)?

I constantly notice in Tunisia people being very used to bad services and inefficient organizations. Before even starting any administrative or commercial process, an average citizen already expects problems and long waitings. And if one person dares being upset, a common response is “what did you expect? It’s Africa!”. So should we lower the bar as soon as possible, accept the “reality” and adapt? Or should we maintain high expectations despite the mediocrity?

If the majority keeps the bar high, will their expectations lead to positive change among the industry and the administration? Will the self-fulfilling prophecy and the Pygmalion Effect work? Can someone contribute in the development of his country by always expecting more?

 

Hatem Mahbouli

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Intissar permalink
    October 8, 2010 10:36 am

    You have to create a fan page for your blog:D I love it!

    Bises from Paris

    Intiti

  2. October 8, 2010 2:06 pm

    Merci Titi lol
    Gros bisous de DC!

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