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Social Perception and Social Reality$
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Lee Jussim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195366600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366600.001.0001

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The Less Than Extraordinary Power of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Considerations Based on Common Sense, Daily Life, and a Critical Evaluation of the Early Classic Experiments

Chapter:
(p.83) 6 The Less Than Extraordinary Power of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Source:
Social Perception and Social Reality
Author(s):

Lee Jussim

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366600.003.0025

This chapter is the first of four that critically evaluates the conclusion that the biases and self-fulfilling prophecies created by interpersonal expectations constitute major ways in which people create and construct social reality. This chapter specifically argues that there is abundant evidence from the real world that strongly suggests such effects, though real and occasionally powerful, are, in fact, most of the time weak, fragile, and fleeting. Furthermore, it shows that even the early and classic work demonstrating self-fulfilling prophecies provided no evidence that such effects were either powerful or pervasive.

Keywords:   self-fulfilling prophecies, interpersonal expectancies, stereotypes

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