Definition: Process by which oneís expectations about another
person eventually lead the other person
to behave in ways that confirm these expectations
NOTE: Self-fulfilling prophecies must involve at least two people-- you cannot have a self-fulfilling
prophecy with yourself
4 Steps to Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
* Perceiver has expectations about how target will behave
* Perceiver then behaves in a way that is likely to elicit the expected target behavior
* Target indeed behaves in a way that confirms perceiverís expectations
* Perceiver sees predicted behavior
- Objective perceiver might also see it
Examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
* You expect your new roommate to be shy so you donít speak much to
him after he moves in, and he
therefore does seem shy
* A coach expects his freshmen to be uncoordinated and unskilled so he does not play them often, and
when he does they are ìrustyî and do not perform well
* Your professor expects you to do well and she spends extra time with you preparing for the exam, so
you get an A
NOT examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
* You repeat the mantra ìI think I can, I think I canî as you try to
jog up a steep hill, and as a result you
are able to make it
* You have a bad experience the first time you go skiing so you never go back again and never get better
* Because you get a bad grade on your first exam you give up and stop studying at all, leading you to fail
Points to Consider
* Can these expectations be accurate, as when teachers judge their students?
- Jussim and colleagues say yes
* Can perceivers do anything to avoid self-fulfilling prophecy?
- As textbook suggests, reconsider your expectations and behavior towards people
* Can targets do anything to avoid self-fulfilling prophecy?
- Swann & Ely find that targets often strive to disprove inaccurate/unappealing expectations
Correspondent Inference Theory
Purpose: To explain when we are able to make internal attributions
about a person
- Did the person have a choice in this behavior?
- Was the behavior expected?
- What were the effects of the behavior?
When can we make Internal Attributions?
* When the behavior is freely chosen
- According to Jones & Davis, we sometimes fail to remember this rule
* When the behavior is somewhat unexpected
* When a behavior/choice only has few effects
* Think of them as "unique effects"
* If Marilyn has two choices for where to go to dinner, the fewer unique effects of that choice, the more plausible an internal attribution
- China Gate vs. Gandy Dancer
+ Many noncommon effects (price, location, food, ambiance)
- Arbor Brewing Company vs. Grizzly Peak
+ Few noncommon effects (same price, same location, both brew pubs, but ABC has live music tonight-- I conclude
she chose it because she wanted to hear the band)
Kellyís Covariation Theory
We make attributions based on three aspects of the event:
* Consistency is the easiest to deal with
* If a behavior is low in consistency, we make a situational attribution
- For example, if Larry sometimes talks about how great "The Blair Witch Project" was, but sometimes says he didn't like it, I
assume that specific circumstances are the cause of his behavior (who he's talking to at the time, what other movies are in the
* If it is high in consistency, we look to...
Consensus & Distinctiveness
Consensus: what do other people do/think?
Distinctiveness: does this behavior generalize to other similar stimuli?
* If behavior is low on both, personal attribution
- If no one else raves about "Blair Witch," and Larry raves about many other films, then something about Larry causes the behavior
* If behavior is high on both, stimulus attribution
- If everyone raves about "BW," and Larry rarely raves about films, then the movie causes the behavior
* First check out consistency of the behavior
- If it's low, attribute to passing circumstance
- If it's high...
* Then check out consensus & distinctiveness
- If they're low, then the person is probably the cause of the behavior
- If they're high, then the stimulus (or other person involved) is probably the cause of the behavior
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