Cognitive Processes and Social Inference
ITT Technical Institute
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes it to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. It is 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression "self-fulfilling prophecy" and formalizing its structure and consequences. This paper will discuss both the negative and positive impacts of self-fulfilling prophecy by details it’s effects and impact on intended subjects.
Self-fulfilling prophecy as described by Robert K. Merton is a belief that becomes true because people act as though it is true. Prophecies must involve at least two subjects; it is unattainable with one subject or yourself. There are typically four steps associated with Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. One: The researcher has expectations about how the target shall behave. Two: He or she then behaves in a manner that is most likely to draw out the proposed target behavior. Three: Said target behaves in the way which confirms researchers intended expectations. Finally, after guiding the subject the predicted behavior is achieved.
Prime example is a college basketball coach expecting his freshman point guard to be unsure an uncoordinated so in turn he does not play him often, which leads to a poor performance. This is a personal example, it was the exact phenomenon that took place during my freshman year in college. I worked my tail off during training camp as well as preseason to no avail. Finally, I get my chance at the free throw line in a big game and I freeze. Eventually, I was able to relax and get into the flow of the game, performing quite well.
Now on the other hand, an example of positive self-fulfillment is a teacher expecting a student to perform well so he or she...