In some instances, such as in teacher-student relationships, even how other people think of you can affect your performance. If they believe you will do well, chances are you will. And if they think you will do badly, chances are you also will.
This is the Pygmalion Effect, named after a book, Pygmalion in the Classroom, by Robert Rosenthal, a professor of social psychology, and Lenore Jacobson. In a 1968 study, the two Harvard researchers made a group of students sit for an IQ test and then told teachers that 20 percent of them showed great potential for intellectual development.
In reality, the students were chosen randomly. But because their teachers were led to believe that they were intellectually superior, these students significantly improved their scores when they sat for a second IQ test eight months later.
What can you do about the Pygmalion Effect? First, try your best to create a positive image of yourself. If you cannot show that you are smart, at least show that you are sincere about wanting to learn. Second, avoid a negative image.
Do not misbehave or sleep in class, do not hand in your assignments late and so on. Otherwise, you will need to work doubly hard to change your teachers’ view of you.