self-fulfilling prophecy

Also found in: Dictionary, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They did discover that "some people are more susceptible to self-fulfilling prophecies than others" and that "self-fulfilling prophecy effects can accumulate" over time and across people (pp.
"There has been a fall in numbers because parents don't want to send their children to a school the council wants closing - it's become a self-fulfilling prophecy." ?
These are: acting with integrity communicating effectively harnessing the power of optimism and self-fulfilling prophecy taking responsibility for your actions building a resilient culture and using stress management as a competitive advantage.
Some gall, you may exclaim, but Huntington's thesis proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Cold War followed, Americans did become more conservative and supportive of an imbecilic arms race, and militaries and military pacts grew and grew in size.
If you think your memory will decline with age, you may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, according to a study published online April 1 in Experimental Aging Research.
He may have woken disappointed - but yesterday a leading psychiatrist claimed it was a "self-fulfilling prophecy".
The author is unsympathetic to Bush and his administration for what he describes as "misguided leadership" based on erroneous assumptions made and the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy. The book explores the neoconservative movement, Bush's personality and temperament, how decisions were made within the administration, lessons for future presidents, and other relevant topics.
'It would also give the false impression that all banks are insolvent and investors would immediately start betting on which banks would be next, possibly creating a self-fulfilling prophecy,' Lewis said at a luncheon sponsored by Boston College's Chief Executives' Club of Boston.
On the negative side (and here's where we normally hear the term "self-fulfilling prophecy"), if a PM or manager creates a situation where the expectations are negative (i.e., the employee will fail), that will usually happen, too.
Indeed, it may even create a self-fulfilling prophecy that we then ought to be afraid of.
It was becoming too easy for the market to get spooked, and short-selling was becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Daniel Have rcroft, financial stocks analyst at Investec.
"Obviously what we have going on is an attempt to create a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Zell.