ERIC Number: ED374096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-May-1
Reference Count: N/A
The Pygmalion Effect and Its Influence on the Grading and Gender Assignment on Spelling and Essay Assessments.
Sprouse, Jenifer L.; Webb, Jamie E.
This study investigated the teacher expectancy effects (also called Pygmalion effects) on the grading of both fourth-grade spelling tests and eighth-grade essay tests by 19 teachers in central Virginia public schools. Spelling tests contained the same five misspellings, but differed in the legibility and gender of the sample. The essays varied with regard to content, gender, and handwriting style. The teachers graded the spelling lists for the number of errors, assigned a gender to the sample, and assigned a letter grade to each essay. Results indicated that illegible spelling test samples received both a lower grade and a higher number of errors than did the legible samples. Conversely, legible spelling test samples were scored with fewer errors than they actually contained. Strong essays in the legible condition received a mean score of 93.8, while the same essays in the illegible condition received a mean score of 75.3, showing that appearance played a large role in the papers' scores. The strong illegible essays received lower grades than weak essays in legible handwriting. Results support the theory that there is a Pygmalion effect for handwriting. Teachers exhibited gender biases in regard to handwriting styles, with illegible handwriting attributed to a male more often than to a female. Appendixes contain the spelling tests and the essay samples submitted to the teachers for assessment. (Contains 21 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Expectancy Theory; Virginia (Central)
Note: Master's Thesis, University of Virginia. Handwritten essays and spelling lists in appendixes may not reproduce clearly.