Who am I?
Who am I? This is a very difficult question to answer for most of humanity!
We do not know ourselves well enough- our self concept is hazy!
Our self concept is often a summation of consistent views expressed by others about us. The views are often something like this:
“You can never get up in time!”
“You are totally irresponsible!”
“You can never keep your things properly!”
“You stay in bad company- your friends will spoil you!”
“You are only fond of playing; see your neighbor, how much he studies! I don’t know if you will be able to do any work!”
“You are too simple! The World is too bad! I don’t know how you will manage?”
“You talk too much!”
“You never finish your homework in time!”
“You don’t pay attention in class!”
“The way you are going, you will find it difficult to get admission in any good college!”
“You are very straightforward; you should be more diplomatic!”
“X has said that he will beat you in the race! He is practicing very hard!”
Should we form a self concept on the basis of above views, which are all well meaning, but reflect the insecurities of the Mother, Teacher & Friend? Is there another way to form a self concept?
Introspection is another method. You assess yourself based on self analysis & ignore the views of others. This method has only limited reliability. We may overrate/ underrate our positive/ negative traits. Our assessment is subjective and ignores the value of demonstrated behavior.
Let us learn about a very important research- “Self fulfilling Prophecy”.
(Pygmalion Research-1968) Self Fulfilling Prophecy
The original research of Rosenthal and Jacobson focused on an experiment at an elementary school where students took intelligence pre-tests.
Rosenthal and Jacobson then informed the teachers of the names of twenty percent of the students in the school who were showing “unusual potential for intellectual growth” and would bloom academically within the year.
Unknown to the teachers, these students were selected randomly with no relation to the initial test.
When Rosenthal and Jacobson tested the students eight months later, they discovered that the randomly selected students who teachers thought would bloom scored significantly higher.
Higher expectations of teachers induced higher performance. This showed the immense power of the ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ This logic of ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ applies almost universally. High expectations induce high performance, while low expectations induce low performance.
How the above knowledge helps us to answer the question who am I? To know more see the blog “Who am I?-2”