Self-fulfilling Prophecies: Mechanisms, Power, and Links to Social Problems
A core theme of social psychology is that perceivers can shape targets’ future behaviors through self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-fulfilling prophecies occur when perceivers’ false beliefs about targets initiate a sequence of events that ultimately cause targets to exhibit expectancy-consistent behaviors, thereby causing perceivers’ initially false beliefs to become true. This article reviews theory and research relevant to self-fulfilling prophecies with particular foci on the underlying mechanisms that produce self-fulfilling prophecies, the power of self-fulfilling prophecies to alter behavior, and the extent to which self-fulfilling prophecies contribute to social problems.
adon, S., Willard, J., Guyll, M., & Scherr, K. C. (2011). Self‐fulfilling prophecies: Mechanisms, power, and links to social problems. Social And Personality Psychology Compass, 5(8), 578-590.