Definition: Observations or behaviors that result primarily from expectations.

Quite Simply..


  • Similar to expectancy bias in that, when you expect something to happen, you can start to believe it before it even happens.
  • Behaving in a way that someone will expect you to act.

Examples of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


  • When someone scores high on an IQ test, they will begin to think that they are smart and will have higher expectations for themselves in life.
  • When you walk into a class saying, "I'm going to fail this test," you have convinced yourself that failing the test is okay, and it is now more likely to happen.
  • You consider yourself a "C" student and as a result never strive for A's. You fulfill your prophecy and continue to make only C's.
  • You are called "stupid", so you convince yourself that you truly are stupid. Therefore you do not try to make yourself any smarter.
  • Someone tells you that you're extremely smart and will have no problem in a specific class, based off of that you work hard to live up to the expectations.

Additional Resources of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


See Also..

  1. Confirmation Bias
  2. Attribution Theory
  3. Mood-Congruent Judgment