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February 27, 2021, 05:12:13 pm


How much do (your or others') expectations influence your performance (academically or non-academically) ?

Not really at all
0 (0%)
A small influence
3 (7.7%)
A medium influence
3 (7.7%)
A large influence
12 (30.8%)
---and also--- ((don't vote for this it's not an option)))---------
0 (0%)
>Your self expectations have more influence than other's expectations
9 (23.1%)
>Other's expectations are more influential than your own
4 (10.3%)
>About the same impact
8 (20.5%)

Total Members Voted: 22

Author Topic: How much do expectations influence your performance?  (Read 432 times)  Share 

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How much do expectations influence your performance?
« on: January 25, 2021, 08:53:47 pm »
The influence of expectations on performance is called as the 'Pygmalion effect'. I just wanted to include the word cos it sounds cool

There's a bunch of past studies I'm sure everyone knows about eg: students who teachers expect to do well based on false info end up doing better than other students do I need references aaaahhh well I'm not getting graded and this is just meant to be a casual conversation starter.

I was wondering, how many of you guys feel like you (un)consciously try harder when teachers think you are 'smart' in certain subjects, or put in less effort if you think your teacher hasn't got high expectations for you?

In addition to this there's studies eg how people who fail a task the first time put less effort/time in trying the second time compared to people who can do it the first time.

How much do you think labelling yourself in terms of your skill at something when you first begin something effects where you are with it now?

In primary school in grade prep/one when you are sorted into reading/maths groups based on how well you do, does that begin to build up an identity of how strong or weak you are in those areas and affect how hard you push yourself to do well throughout your school years in a vicious/virtuous cycle?

Personally I feel like when I label myself as something most of the time my actions follow to make it into a self fulfilling prophecy thing.
-Eg, I'm trying to avoid saying or thinking that I've lost my running habit, because I feel like after I told people I stopped running (even though I was just running a lot less) it made me kind of put that as the default so it's decreased even more and now it seems like more effort now that I have to 'start' again.
-Also I feel like my marks went a little downhill in maths in VCE and then I decided that 'I'm bad at maths now' and that kind of stopped me trying harder to get better marks again.
-in terms of other's expectations, a uni friend I've only talked to on zoom called me 'bubbly' and I feel like I act more bubbly/energetic/loud when I talk to them because that's what they expect from me now.
    >more generally I do this often, when I meet people for the first time I often keep the same energy levels that I first had when I talked to them, because I am thinking that they 'expect' me to be a shy/loud/etc because that's how they probably perceived me in our first interaction so I keep it consistent. It's not really on purpose, (and it doesn't last that extreme if I'm interacting with the people a lot).

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Re: How much do expectations influence your performance?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 09:38:57 pm »
I wish I could put my expectations into words. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and in all fairness, it usually pays off, but when it doesn't - it hurts. I agree with you about the premise of 'I got a bad mark in XYZ, therefore, I am bad at XYZ', that exact situation happened to me last term. Pretty sure I performed below par in my modern history examination and it's led to a vicious cycle these holidays, involving sleepless nights and constant feelings of regret.

As someone that attends a school that doesn't rank particularly well in the school rankings, the amount of pressure on me to do well in all my assessments and examinations is immense. Often, it makes me wonder how my expectations would differ if I were to attend a different school because I would no longer have that overbearing burden that makes me anxious about everything I do that's school-related (i.e. is my study adequate? did I get full marks? what did I do wrong?). I really want to reassure myself that everything will be okay in the end, but it's really difficult to suddenly alter your expectations.

Now that I look back on that modern history examination, it still haunts me and it hurts to know that such a minor part of the year and such a mining aspect of my learning could ultimately prevent me from fulfilling my dream of becoming a lawyer. Expectations are whack, to say the least.
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Re: How much do expectations influence your performance?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 09:56:30 pm »
This is honestly so interesting and I've never paid it much thought until now.
For me, I will consciously try harder because of the expectations that teachers and students place on me. I get so anxious about "proving myself" or upholding someone else's standards that I think they have set for me. What I find most interesting is that if I think that one teacher has expectations of me in their class, my brain will apply those expectations across all my classes. So if my Physics teacher was like, "Omg! Don't even worry about it, you are going to do so well on this exam because you're smart, you always do well," my brain will then be like "Well, now I have to do well in Psychology too." I think its because, I know that teachers talk in the staff room and I get scared that some of my teachers might discuss my performance with each other (e.g. my Physics teacher could talk to my psych teacher and be like "Wow Katelyn did so well on the student experiment for physics," too which my psych teacher might reply "Really? 'Cause she's pretty dumb in my class..." - this is completely absurd, but I did get scared that it could happen).
In the same vein, if I get the ~vibes~ that one teacher doesn't like my work (*cough*my English teacher*cough*), and doesn't expect good performance from me, then I will work my butt off to try to turn that around so that they don't go back to the staff room and impact my other teacher's expectations of me (even though I hate feeling like I have high expectations placed on me). The worst part about my teachers having expectations was that they rarely took my concerns and stress seriously. Like I was majorly stressed about the externals (I'm talking not being able to sleep for two months leading up to it, feeling so nauseous all the time that I couldn't eat and felt like I was going to throw up, having no motivation or energy to do anything, having major panic attacks every single day...) and the only thing my teachers would reply with was "Don't be ridiculous! You always perform well and you have nothing to worry about"... Pretty much reinforcing the expectations that were giving me so much anxiety in the first place (because I don't care about the expectations I place on myself.. I don't care if I let myself down. But I get petrified of letting others down).

What stands out to me is that the expectations I place on myself are directly a result of the expectations others place on me. I really never set expectations for myself, but my thoughts and attitude are easily influenced by others.

In addition to this there's studies eg how people who fail a task the first time put less effort/time in trying the second time compared to people who can do it the first time.

I'd have to say that I am the opposite on this one. I get very disheartened every time I "fail" a task (especially if its the first time I'm trying something), but generally it pushes me to do better. Over the years I've really worked on adopting a "growth mindset" and I now view failures/mistakes/disappointments as opportunities to learn and signs that there is still room for growth.

In primary school in grade prep/one when you are sorted into reading/maths groups based on how well you do, does that begin to build up an identity of how strong or weak you are in those areas and affect how hard you push yourself to do well throughout your school years in a vicious/virtuous cycle?

I am a strong believer that this is a major cause for every time I have experienced imposter syndrome. I was rarely ever sorted into the higher groups at a younger age, so I think I kind of grew up with the idea that no one believed I could perform well and get good grades. Then going into middle and early senior years, all of my friends would be the ones receiving academic awards or teachers would talk to them (as I was standing with them) about how AMAZING their assignment was... While I am so so so incredibly proud of all of my friends for their achievements, it just kind of reinforced the idea that none of my teachers believed in me. This has certainly effected how I view my academic performance across all my subjects. I never expect a good grade (even though I had a fairly good track record in senior years for getting good grades), I never expect academic awards or any sort of recognition, any time a teacher tells me they enjoyed my assignment or were impressed I am genuinely shocked... So yeah, having those lower expectations placed on me early on really did not set the tone for self-belief and now any time achieve anything I feel like a fraud.
(Thankfully, I did meet some fantastic teachers who always reminded me that they believed in me and helped me discover my passion for science - they are the reason I am where I am today and was able to achieve what I did in grade 12. I am truly so grateful for those teachers).

Looking back on it now it's weird to think that I went from people having such low expectations of me, to people having really high expectations...  :o
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Re: How much do expectations influence your performance?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2021, 11:02:18 pm »
- snip -

This is very interesting; These are my thoughts:
I think certain expectations would influence one's performance in a subject, whether that be internal or external expectation. For example, teachers who would pour time and effort into helping students in any sort of way they can, somewhat raises morale about the subject and could impact on how the student sees the subject. Also, teachers who are passionate about what they teach can sometimes influence students to develop a similar interest in the subject, due to engagement with content, hence a somewhat desire to do well.

I also think that an internal expectation of how well oneself should perform influences performance. For Example, a student who strives to work hard, day in, day out, may place higher expectations on themselves to do well, influencing performance (kind of / relatively speaking).

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Re: How much do expectations influence your performance?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2021, 01:35:34 pm »
I'm coming from a personal point of view with this question as someone who has been incredibly influenced by personal expectations when it comes to academic performance but also rejected a lot of external ones from a career perspective. I definitely would say how well I perform is very much shaped by the leaders in my life, especially when it comes to teachers. While they might not verbalise particular expectations to me, I almost always place them on myself. I feel like giving things my best shot is a reflection of how well they have shared their knowledge and enriched my life with education. I usually perform better in subjects, both in high school and university, if I really enjoyed learning from the teachers/lecturers running it. I wouldn't say that all of my teachers in high school were stellar, top tier educators but they were inspiring and caring which made me feel comfortable with exploring the content and presenting my perspectives on what we learnt in school. I spend so much of my time talking about some of my favourite lecturers to my friends, both in and out of uni, and how much I want to impress them. I also, conversely, perform less successfully in subjects which I am not as motivated in. My Year 11 Maths teacher was partially why I chose not to continue doing Maths in Year 12. My worst performing subject at university was with my least favourite lecturer thus far. Basically, I think that those around you can influence you without realising it. I personally found my expectations about what success would look like was very much a matter of whether my teachers would be proud of me. Nowadays, I am a lot more aware of this and I try to exercise the same amount of effort in everything, as well as not being too hard on myself when I perhaps didn't go as well as planned, regardless of how I find the subject  :)

As for the second point about rejecting expectations, I grew up in a Vietnamese household and there were lots of expectations placed on me for a long time. I always said that I wanted to pursue music for a living but my relatives would usually dismiss it as a "dream" that I am yet to realise is impossible. I heard a lot in whispers things that I would rather not talk about here but they made me feel like I had no freedom over what I was going to end up doing with my life. I remember when I first told my extended family that I was set on studying music education and it caused an actual uproar over dinner. Even to this day, I have so many people asking whether I am planning on changing careers to something "better." In high school, I would often justify this by saying to myself that they saw potential in me to do bigger things but deep down I was quite offended that what I loved was considered inferior to what they expected of me. Upon rejecting these expectations and just going ahead with what I wanted to do, I've found peace within myself and a much happier life overall than if I had chosen to adhere to what others thought  ;D

To wrap up my long post, I think it is always important to evaluate where your expectations originate from and decide upon whether they are helpful and encouraging of your personal growth or if they are potentially hindering you from achieving what you want to. I'm keen to see what others think because this is really an interesting discussion point!

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