Science Science and Technology

Expectations vs Reality: according to Science


Did you know that merely having an expectation does not make it happen? Well, that’s according to psychology experts. Life experiences can shape or influence our expectations. So, whether you expect a dream job, career, relationship, or hope for wealth, […]

Did you know that merely having an expectation does not make it happen? Well, that’s according to psychology experts. Life experiences can shape or influence our expectations. So, whether you expect a dream job, career, relationship, or hope for wealth, it all begins from your past experiences.

This article highlights common expectations and the reality of science as a discipline. But first, a brief overview of what expectations and realities are.


They are the things that you regard as likely to happen. Your expectations form part of what you consider valuable for the future. As a result, when your expectations fail, you are likely to be disappointed in equal measure. The bigger the gap between your expectations and your realities, the more frustrated you will be.

Expectations are not merely individual, but you could have expectations of others too. For instance, if you are a parent, you would have high expectations that your child will perform extremely well in school.


It is the actual state of things as they are, contrary or in line with your expectations. Reality is the actual state of your life as defined by your behavior, attitude, personal view, and relationships.

According to psychologists, we all create our reality, hence reality is subjective. In addition, you cannot have one reality. Realities are many and they vary according to your point of view and how you interact with your environment.

An image showing a graphic designer’s expectation versus reality of his drawing skills

Source: Digital Synopsis

Gift Patrick explains the concept of expectations and realities:

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Source: YouTube

Being a Scientist: Expectations vs Reality

When you watch movies or film series, you’d believe that scientists’ lives are full of extraordinary discoveries and capabilities. But that’s not true.

Here is a comparison of the expectations and what the real life of a scientist involves

1. Expectation: You Will Rise to Fame and Glory

When you join a science profession, you expect that you will conduct some of the most intriguing, research assignments that will make you famous in no time. You expect to be involved in conducting some in-depth analysis and fact-finding for solutions to critical challenges.


Most people do not even know the name of a scientist. Your role as a scientist may not earn you a status of fame so rapidly. It may take time to obtain public or global recognition. Besides, your first successful interview may not make you famous either. It would only give you a platform to kick start your career.

2. Expectation: Your Research Findings Are Always Correct

So when doing your research, you’d think you have the best, irrefutable hypothesis for a finding. You strongly believe that nobody can challenge your findings.


Scientific research resembles gambling in some sense because not all outcomes are absolute and correct. Quite often, you’ll create an explanation for your findings, with multiple options to choose from.

You may do it right all through, only to make a small error on the final step of your research. With limited resources and time, you’d sometimes make a quick guess, hoping it will have a desirable effect.

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3. Expectation: Science is a Glamorous Career

Many people believe that STEM careers are glamorous and highly regarded in society. They think scientists are geniuses who sit in a lab somewhere, experiment, and everything turns out remarkable.


On the contrary, science is never as glamorous. Your life as a scientist would at times be riddled with pain and sweat. You will spend months and years reading journals and publications.

It takes years doing research and repeating the same task before its final adoption as the correct hypothesis. At times, you would spend sleepless nights in a laboratory room or research center.

4. Expectation: Scientists are Geniuses

The prototype belief is that scientists are extremely genius. That they would just sit and make things happen in a flash.


A scientist is a normal, average person like you, only that they always go the extra mile. They are indeed brilliant, but the brilliance lies in their ability to not give up easily. Science is all about searching for the truth through intensive exploration. Being a scientist requires you to gather as much information and knowledge as to solve a problem.

 In addition, what you are taught during your lectures in the lab may not apply in real life. At the lab, you’ll easily find a solution because it’s already designed and tested. However, when doing real research alone, everything never runs smoothly.

5. Expectation: Getting a Job in Huge Companies is Instant and Sure

Nearly every college student’s dream is to get a job as soon as they graduate. You almost think that being in college is the main reason you aren’t employed yet.

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Getting a job is not as instant as some fresh college graduates believe. You are not bound to focus on big companies either. Even a start-up could be your best starting point. Large, established companies may be attractive because they offer attractive remuneration, but getting in may not be easy.

Have Reasonable Expectations

What were your expectations about life? Do you still have the same expectations? The sad truth is that your expectation that life would turn out the way you want may lead to disappointment. This is because life might not turn the way you want it to be. So, to avoid disappointments, be sure to have reasonable expectations in life.

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