self-fulfilling prophecy

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Related to Oedipus effect: Oedipus Rex

self-fulfilling prophecy,

a concept developed by Robert K. MertonMerton, Robert King,
1910–2003, American sociologist, b. Philadelphia as Meyer Schkolnick, grad. Temple Univ. (A.B., 1931) and Harvard (M.A., 1932; Ph.D., 1936). From 1941 on he was a professor of sociology at Columbia Univ.
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 to explain how a belief or expectation, whether correct or not, affects the outcome of a situation or the way a person (or group) will behave. Thus, for example, labeling someone a "criminal," and treating that person as such, may foster criminal behavior in the person who is subjected to the expectation.