The next challenge we're going to consider is self-fulfilling prophecies. There are a couple challenges here mixed together, but the umbrella idea is self-fulfilling prophecies. And I want to motivate it by reminding you of a movie from 1983, a well-known movie starring Eddie Murphy as originally a fraud and a beggar and a ne'er do well. And Dan Aykroyd as a successful pedigreed investment banker. And if you've seen the movie you know what happens. But basically Aykroyd's character's uncle's have a bet that they could, if they wanted, turn the Murphy character into essentially, the Aykroyd character, and vice versa. That if they simply treat the Murphy character different, they could elevate him from the streets of New York into a well healed investment banker. And conversely, if they treated Dan Aykroyd's character differently. They would turn him in, given a little time, to someone essentially as pitiful as the Eddie Murphy character. If you've seen the movie you know that they pulled this off quite successfully for a while. And that's the main point here is that we have a profound impact on those who we work around and who work for us by what we expect of them. And what the psychologists have documented over time is that people respond to those expectations. That people tend toward performing consistent with expectations. High expectations increase performance. Low expectations decrease performance. This occurs for one of two main reasons. One is that we tend to treat people differently when we have high expectations for them or low expectations. So we might actually put them in different situations, not unlike Dan Aykroyd's character's Uncles' did in Trading Places. So this has been studied in teachers in classrooms where they manipulate teachers expectations for children and they observe that even though children were randomly assigned here that over time their performance changes. And they track the mechanism to that teachers treat them differently, teachers treat, they give more attention to those they expect more from, they give less attention those expect less from. They put in short those they have high expectations for and advantage situations and the students respond to that and perform better over time. Another mechanism by which self fulfilling prophecies work is that merely having our expectations voiced can change the other party's behavior. So I want to give you an example from the literature. A famous example from Snyder et al in 1977 on stereotypes and how they exercise influence. Even if we're not changing the situation that the person is in. So this was an experimental procedure and the cover for this, the cover story meaning what the experimenters told the participants. They were studying initial interactions that don't include non-verbal. So they wanted to study telephone conversations. Because they wanted to kind of control for nonverbal's. They created anonymous male/female pairings in the first stage. In the second stage they put these pairs into a telephone conversation and they recorded both sides of the telephone conversation and they recorded them separately so people can hear just one side of that if they want to. The researchers can have coders hear just one side. But the people involved in the study are literally talking to each other on the telephone. Each party's side of the conversation was evaluated by these independent judges. The judges were unaware of the hypotheses and the manipulations. Here's the manipulation, it's an interesting one, and it's a little bit sexist but that's okay because this has been studied with reversing the roles and it still goes through. But at the time what they did was they distributed a photo of a female, supposedly the people in the study. In fact, it wasn't the people in the study, these were photos taken from a different university all together. And they had created these photos to be one of two types, either of attractive, relatively attractive females, as rated by other parties, and relatively unattractive females. So essentially the males in the subject, half the males are given an attractive photo and told that that's who they're talking to. The other half of the men in the study were given an unattractive photo and again told that that is the person they were talking to. This is the experimental manipulation, so you can see what they're doing. They're changing the expectations of the men in the study and what they're going to do is find out how does that change how the women behave. So there were no photos on the female side, they didn't know that they're were photos distributed. All they knew is that they were in this study that was supposed to be about interaction. The initial interactions that don't have non verbals. So here's a diagram of what this looks like just to be clear. They take the men in the study and they randomly assign them to one of two conditions, M1 and M2. M1 being those who received attractive female photos. Again, these aren't the photos of the actual people. These are separate people altogether. And half received unattractive photos. Women are again randomly assigned to F1 or F2, no photos involved. And then they have a phone call. They then allow people to ask the judges to go listen these phone calls. They listen to just one side and evaluate what happens. So what they find is that men in the M1 group, the group that had received the attractive female photos, treated the women friendlier. They literally even though the judges didn't know the hypothesis, they didn't even know the difference in the groups. They rated the interactions by the men as friendlier. It may not be too surprising but what's surprising and a little profound is that the raters who were listening to the female side of the conversation were asked to judge the attractiveness, the perceived attractiveness of the woman on the phone. Again they're just listening to them on the phone. But what they found was, women in F1 were rated as more attractive than women in F2 only because they were treated differently. So see what these researchers have accomplished. They have manipulated the expectations of the men in this study. As a result the men treat the women differently. And the women then act in a way that is consistent with those expectations, despite the fact that they didn't even know what the expectations were. They were completely oblivious to what it was. So in this subtle situation they were able to document this self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the kind of thing that we worry about a great deal in organizations. This is the kind of thing we worry about a great deal in performance evaluation and talent analytics, what impact our expectations have on employees. Because people are so hardwired this way. We're so hardwired to move in the direction of the expectations people have for us. That's the psychologist take. The sociologist take steps it up a notch yet and they had this notion called The Matthew Effect. And The Matthew Effect comes from sociologist Robert Merton in '68. It's coined from a passage in the Gospel of Matthew. But the idea is that the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. And this comes from the accumulation of early advantages. The idea is that those who are privileged early in some way often then have a step ahead and then those advantages grow exponentially over time. We see this in various studies. You can see it in consumer goods, some very clever studies on consumer goods. You can see this in education. For example, students who are ahead in reading early, then build on that and get further ahead in reading as you go through their early education. And conversely, students who fall behind early in their reading have a real hard time catching up, especially as they get further and further behind. And so a little perturbation in the beginning can accumulate over time. And we see the same thing with careers. The idea is that in any setting where a little experience matters, or recognition matters, those with early advantage will increasingly be privileged over time, that resources accumulate to those who have these early advantages, even if those early advantages might have been randomly assigned. So in general we have this issue of self-fulfilling prophecies. It raises a few questions for us. It raises a few questions for you in your organization and in your firm. Where might your expectations be affecting other people's behaviors, or your evaluation of your behavior? Where are your expectations getting kind of involved in this process. We want to find ways to pull your expectations out of the process. So what specific steps can you take to protect the evaluation processes from these expectations? Some firms, for example recognizing this, explicitly name these biases as they sit down to begin the evaluation processes. They name it. They say, here are some biases we know, in general, people are guilty of. Let's put them on the table. Let's be aware of them as we talk through the next few hours, or whatever it's going to be in their evaluations. And then finally, and this is more along the lines of the sociologists, the Matthew Effect, how can you ensure equal access to valuable resources? How can you ensure that those who don't by chance, get an advantage early on, have that early advantage accumulate resources that others aren't accumulating? What can you do to provide equal access? Otherwise, you're going to be drawing inferences about skill, talent, effort based on resources you see accumulated, even though it's not because of underlying skill, talent, or effort, it's because of the Mathew effect or it's because of self-fulfilling prophecies.