The Rosenthal Effect is an important phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of social and educational contexts. This phenomenon, first described by Robert Rosenthal in 1964, occurs when the expectations of an individual or group of individuals about the performance of another individual or group of individuals influence the outcome of that performance. This has implications for educational and social contexts, in which expectations of teachers, family members, or peers can have a significant impact on the performance of a student or other individual.

The Rosenthal Effect is based on the notion that people’s expectations of others often lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. If an individual or a group of individuals expects a person or group to be successful, that expectation can lead to behavior changes that increase the chances of success. For example, if a teacher expects a student to do well, they may give that student more attention and provide more resources, which can lead to improved performance. Similarly, if a family expects a child to do well, they may provide more support and guidance, which can also lead to improved performance.

The Rosenthal Effect has implications for educational settings, particularly in terms of teacher expectations. If teachers have high expectations of their students, they may be more likely to give them additional support and resources, which can lead to improved student performance. Similarly, if teachers have low expectations of their students, they may be less likely to provide additional support and resources, which can lead to lower student performance. Research has also found that the Rosenthal Effect can have an impact on social contexts, as expectations of peers or family members can shape the behavior of an individual and their performance in certain situations.

The Rosenthal Effect can have both positive and negative implications for social and educational settings. On the one hand, it can lead to improved performance if individuals have high expectations of each other. On the other hand, it can lead to decreased performance if individuals have low expectations of each other. As such, it is important to be aware of the potential impact of expectations on performance in both social and educational settings.


Rosenthal, R. (1964). The interpersonal expectancy effect: A 30-year perspective. American Psychologist, 19(5), 531-548.

Gilliam, W. S., & Izzo, L. (2000). The impact of teacher expectations on student achievement: A meta-analysis of the research. The Urban Review, 32(2), 151-172.

Keller, J., & Dauenheimer, D. (2003). The role of expectations in social interaction: A review of the research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7(3), 291-315.

Kline, R. B. (2015). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (4th ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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