Thursday, January 05, 2006

Self-esteem and Intelligence

A few blogs ago, while I was discussing the historical evolution of Art and its consequent influence on human civilzation, I came upon another interesting question in my head. I wondered whether "Self-esteem leads to improved intelligence?" Are people with high self-esteem mostly also very intelligent because they have high self-esteem? At that time, I had made an open plea for any social psychologist to test this hypothesis for me; see if it's true. And lo! Interestingly enough, I just found out that someone had already tested this phenomenon many years ago. It is called the "Pygmalion Effect" and it describes the phenomenon as "we will usually get what we expect". The application of this Pygmalion effect in my discussion of Art was that as a consequence of man's identification of the human condition with that of the Divine condition in works of Art, man began developing a better and more positive sense of himself - a self that was seen as efficacious, worthy, proud, benevolent, creative, etc. as opposed to the primitive sense of the human self as confused, helpless, at the mercy of nature, inefficacious, etc. I argued that this rise of human self-esteem caused by the idealized human representations in Art, reflected itself in other materialist areas of science and technology. Men saw themselves as worthy of better things, and so they produced better things to make their lives better (and I will reject any doubt that our lives today are better than those of only a 100 years ago).


Blogger Semperviva said...

That's a really cool idea.

1/05/2006 04:43:00 PM  

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