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
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.
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