Which of the following is not an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

This blog post will look at a few statements that are not examples of self-fulling prophecy. 

We will also explore what is self-fulfilling prophecy and what are the types of self-fulfilling prophecies, some examples of self-fulfilling prophecies and how they affect people’s lives. 

Which of the following is not an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Here are some statements from Quizelet out of which there are two statements that are not examples of self-fulfilling prophecies. 

Take a look at the statements, we will discuss the answers once we understand more about what self-fulfilling prophecies are at the end of the blog. 

  • Charlotte is an intelligent teenager, but told by her step-sisters and cousins that she’s destined to a life of poverty and failure. Charlotte begins to do poorly in school, and eventually drops out.
  • Though encouraged by his parents to audition for Julliard, Jose believes he isn’t good enough to attend. After his audition, he expresses this reluctance to the admissions committee. They don’t admit him due to his lack of certainty.
  • Morgan overhears a professor predicting the economic recession will prevent entry-level graduates from finding gainful employment. Morgan goes on interviews but doesn’t bother preparing, convinced it’s a waste of time. Morgan appears unprofessional and is not hired.
  • Kevin sprained his ankle a month before a marathon. Though his trainer advises him not to participate, Kevin runs the marathon and places third.
  • A woman predicts her marriage will be a failure. As a result of this, she stops being affectionate with her husband who later on leaves her.
  • A jobless man finds job vacancies in the newspaper and soon gets one job.
  • A mother was taking counselling sessions. Her counsellor told her to be nice to her son. As a result of this, her son started opening up to her.
  • A student thinks that he will be getting full marks in the test but when the result comes, he realises he has got a lower grade.

What is Self-fullfing prophecy?

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief or expectation that an individual holds about themselves so strongly that they begin to behave in ways that are aligned with these beliefs resulting in the belief to come true. 

The self-fulfilling prophecy has also been referred to as the “bootstrapped induction”, the “Barnesian performativity” or “The Oedipus effect” by various researches over time. 

According to Britannica definitions, self-fulfilling prophecy is a process through which a false or irrational belief and expectation leads to its own confirmation. 

Britannica also highlighted that In a self-fulfilling prophecy an individual’s beliefs and expectations about another person or situation eventually influence their behaviours which result in their expectations, thus confirming their beliefs. 

For example, if you wake up and immediately think—perhaps for no particular reason at all—that today is going to be a terrible day, your attitude might lead you to ignore or pay no attention to the positive, amplify the negative, and behave in ways that are unlikely to contribute to a good day.

You might choose to stay in and avoid your friends instead of engaging with them which might lead you to feel sad and down at the end of the day. This can further your beliefs and confirm your predictions.

Self fulfilling prophecies are also viewed as a psychosocial phenomenon as it involves a person’s mental, behavioural, and emotional process as well as involves factors around them in their social world that they interact with for the prophecies to be fulfilled. 

What are the types of Self fulfilling prophecies?

There are two Types of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies:

Other-Imposed

In this case the beliefs of other people are internalised by us which then turns into self-fulling prophecies. 

These prophecies are based on the beliefs that we have internalised based on that which others have of us and can impact your behaviours, thoughts, and feelings that further conjecture these beliefs that have been internalised. 

For example, a father tells his son, who has been struggling with anger and violence, that he is good for nothing. This is internalised by the child and the child begins to act in more dangerous and more violent ways, stops caring about school and his family because he has internalised the belief that he is worth nothing so there is no point in trying. 

Self-Imposed Prophecies

In the case of self-imposed self fulfilling prophecies, these are based on the beliefs we have of ourselves. 

These prophecies are based on the beliefs that we have of us based on various experiences that we have had in our lives and which impact your behaviours, thoughts, and feelings that further conjecture these beliefs that have been internalised. 

For example, an individual who is nervous about a job interview believes that he is not good enough for the role. Soinstead of preparing for the interview he slacks off and is unprepared for the interview. 

His body language is interesting and he struggles with his anxiety and the questions in the process of interviewing. He doesn’t get the job not because of his skills but because of his performance at that moment caused by his behaviour. 

How does Self-fullfilling prophecy affect people?

Self-fulfilling prophecies can lead to cycles of thought and behaviour that are both good and healthy. 

When we hold strong beliefs about something, we are more likely to act in ways that correspond to our beliefs, resulting in our expectations and thus reinforcing our beliefs and encouraging the same behaviour.

This is called the self-fulfilling cycle which we are often not aware of unless we are affected by the outcomes of this cycle. 

For example, a person who is constantly doubting his ability to perform at his job may avoid putting much time and effort into it or avoid doing it altogether since he believes his performance will not earn him any awards or recognition.

This behaviour  only serves to make his work even less competent, leading to even more self-doubt and even lower self-esteem and as a result poorer quality of work.

The way our self-fulling prophecies affect us follows the following process:

  • First, we harbour a belief or set of beliefs about ourselves;
  • These beliefs influence our actions 
  • Finally, Our actions further shape our beliefs


This cycle can apply in many scenarios and situations and can impact areas such as a person’s performance at work or a student’s performance in school.

A person may begin the cycle with a simple statement such as “I can’t ever do anything right.” This can result in negative emotions leading to negative thoughts, and also negative behaviour that furthers this belief. 

What are some examples of Self-fulfilling prophecies?

Self-fulfilling prophecies happen in real life some examples include:

Teacher Expectations

Where teachers’ predictions on student performances can impact their performance because teachers’ behaviours and attitudes are internalised by the students leading to more dropouts and poorer performance. 

Workplace

People who believe that they are victims of workplace politics tend to behave in ways that lead them to become targets of prejudice and workplace politics.

People’s beliefs of their performance and skills also tend to impact their goal setting and action steps that ultimately impact their performance and progress. 

Anxiety and depression

People who tend to focus on negative and irrational beliefs that aggravate their anxiety are bound to experience more anxiety when they are faced with the situation. One particular example would be in the case of agoraphobia. 

People who have this anxiety disorder often believe that they will experience panic attacks when in public and family spaces leading them to react in panic and anxiety when they are in such situations because they already fear it. 

Placebo effect

In medical settings, when people are treated with placebo treatments- they sometimes experience positive effects of the treatment because they believe that it will work. It is also at times observed in clinical trials of new drugs.

Which of the following is not an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Out of the statements that were put forward at the start of this blog, options 4, 6,7,8 are all examples of statements that are not self-fulfilling prophecies. 

  • A jobless man finds job vacancies in the newspaper and soon gets one job.
  • A mother was taking counselling sessions. Her counsellor told her to be nice to her son. As a result of this, her son started opening up to her.
  • A student thinks that he will be getting full marks in the test but when the result comes, he realises he has got a lower grade.
  • Kevin sprained his ankle a month before a marathon. Though his trainer advises him not to participate, Kevin runs the marathon and places third.

When we consider all these statements, none of them are based on personal beliefs rather the outcomes of their situations are circumstantial and do not have anything to do with behaviour that are a result of their beliefs or beliefs that they have internalised. 

Conclusion

This blog post has put forward a few statements that are not examples of self-fulling prophecy. 

We have also explored what is self-fulfilling prophecy and what are the types of self-fulfilling prophecies, some examples of self-fulfilling prophecies and how they affect people’s lives. 

FaQ related to “Which of the following is not an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy?”

Is the Pygmalion effect real?

The Pygmalion effect, named after a sculptor who fell in love with the figure he carved, is a term used  to refer to a psychological phenomenon in which high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area. 

What are the two types of self-fulfilling prophecy?

There are two types of self-fulfilling prophecies: 

  • Self-imposed prophecies occur when your own expectations influence your actions. 
  • Other-imposed prophecies occur when others’ expectations influence your behaviour.

What is the meaning of self-fulfilling?

Self-fulfilling means to become real or true by virtue of having been predicted or expected. 

How do you make a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Here are a few things you can do to make a positive self-fulfilling prophecy come true:

  • Change your beliefs into positive ones
  • Work on your self-esteem
  • Fake it till it becomes true
  • Change your language towards yourself and others
  • Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
  • Take your time to make positive changes towards your goals

References

Ackerman. C. Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Psychology: 10 Examples and Definition (+PDF). Positive Psychology.  25th November 2021. Retrieved on 13th Dec 2021. https://positivepsychology.com/self-fulfilling-prophecy/

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Examples and the Psychology Behind Them. Your Dictionary. Retrieved on 13th Dec 2021. https://examples.yourdictionary.com/self-fulfilling-prophecy-examples-psychology.html

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