Video Labs: Chapter #3-Social Perception: Understanding Other People

The Pygmalion Effect and the Power of Positive Expectations


This video discusses the self-fulfilling prophecy. In Chapter 3 this was defined as the situation where a person's (such as a teacher) expectations about another person (e.g., a student) can bring about a change in the target's behavior that is consistent with the first person's expectations (behavioral confirmation). Commentary is provided by Robert Rosenthal, the person who pioneered research on the self-fulfilling prophecy. Rosenthal provides four conditions that favor the self-fulfilling prophecy. Run Time: 6:00

Jane Elliott Brown Eyes vs Blue Eyes


This video shows Jane Elliott's famous brown-eyed, blue-eyed demonstration. After Martian Luther King was assassinated, Jane Elliott wanted to teach her third-grade class a lesson in prejudice and discrimination. In class one day Elliott told her class that brown-eyed people were inferior to blue-eyed people. Her brown-eyed students wore armbands so they could be identified easily as brown-eyed children. The next day, Elliott reversed the situation (brown-eyed people are superior to blue-eyed people). Elliott taught her students a powerful lesson in the impact of discrimination. This video applies equally well to Chapters 3 and 4. However, I like to use it to show how changing the rules and parameters in a social situation can have a profound impact on how individuals within that situation behave. Elliott was able to take a class of children who were all friends and turn them against one another based on a relatively minor change in the parameters governing the classroom. Run Time: 9:27