The Pygmalion effect – its history

Pygmalion effect

Since the time the film My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison became such huge success globally, there have been numerous remakes of the same concept – The Pygmalion effect. Eliza Doolittle and Prof Henry Higgins have been played in so many different languages and by so many different actors. However even now this is the best movie to see because of these two.

The Pygmalion effect is about the self fulfilling prophecy – that if you expect the best from others and yourself then you tend to generally get it.

There have been others who have also studied about this effect and it also gets called by names like the Rosenthal effect, the Galatea effect etc. But by far its most famous as the Pygmalion effect.

Now, till today I had not known the story behind this effect, and actually never even tried to find out. Today while I was reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, I came across the story of the Pygmalion effect.

Thought of sharing , for all the curious people like me.

As per Greek mythology it seems Pygmalion made an ivory sculpture of a woman who he thought was an ideal woman and named her Galatea. He fell in love with her and desired her so much that the goddess Venus was forced to bring her to life. What you desire so much gets fulfilled.

There’s a very famous painting by Jean Leon George named Pygmalion Galatea which shows this event. I think this painting is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York city.

I had not realized that the term which we used so often and the movie which we loved so much has such a fascinating history.

Till next time then. Be fascinated.

Carpe Diem!!!

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