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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Definition

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a process through which someone's expectations about a situation or another person leads to the fulfillment of those expectations. Thus, the expectancy becomes a cause, so that what is expected comes true because it was expected. The process includes three steps: (1) A perceiver forms an expectation of a situation or target person, (2) the perceiver's expectations affects how he or she behaves in the situation or treats the target person, and (3) the situation or the target person is affected by the perceiver's behavior in a way that confirms the perceiver's initial expectation.

Background and History

The concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy was initially introduced by a sociologist, Robert K. Merton. In Merton's conception, a self-fulfilling prophecy applied to social as well ...

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