Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." (Matthew XXV:29, KJV).
This line is sometimes taken in isolation as claiming "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer": taken in context it asserts that ambition and risk-taking will be rewarded, while those who fail to utilize the talents loaned to them will be punished.
In education Matthew effect is a term coined by Keith Stanovich , a psychologist who has done extensive research on reading and language disabilities. This quote was the inspiration for naming a phenomenon that has been observed many, many times in research on how new readers acquire the skills to read. Early success in acquiring reading skills usually leads to later successes in reading as the learner grows. Failing to learn to read before the third or fourth year of schooling is predictive of life-long problems in learning new skills. Hence the term the Matthew Effect: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
In sociology, Matthew effect was a term coined by Robert Merton to describe how, among other things, eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher even if their work is similar; it also means that credit will usually be given to researchers that are already famous: for example, a prize will almost always be awarded to the most senior researcher involved in a project, even if all the work was done by a graduate student.
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