Labelling Theory - Research

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  • Created on: 01-05-12 21:22

Labelling Theory - Research

Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968)

Field experiement.

Primary school in California.

An IQ test is used to "predict" children who would "spurt" in intelligence. In reality, a random 20% of pupils were chosen and their names given to teachers.

It was found that one year later, those labelled as spurters had improved due to self-fulfilling prophecy.


The other 80% could have underachieved.

Consent of parents needed.


Cause and effect unknown.

Becker (1971)


60 teachers.

Teachers were found to judge pupils on their closeness to 'ideal pupil'.

This was based on work, appearance and conduct.

The middle class students were seen as the closest to this ideal and so were seen more positively.

Rists (1970)

Studied kindergarten children.

Found that teachers used information on background and appearance to group the children. Teachers had different expectations of groups:

Fast learners got interesting books and lone reading, more encouragement



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