A self-fulfilling prophesy is a good or negative expectation about something or someone that can influence a person's conduct in such a manner that those expectations become a reality. If investors believe the stock market will fall, they will buy fewer stocks. If they believe stocks are overvalued, they will sell their shares at these inflated prices and not feel the need to sell them at lower prices. In this way, they will contribute to another rise in stock prices which will encourage them to keep selling until they realize a loss.
So, a self-fulfilling prophecy is when your thoughts affect your feelings which affect your behavior which affects what happens to you? Is that right? For example, if I believe I cannot play tennis after surgery, then I will not play tennis even though that has nothing to do with my surgery. But since I do not play tennis, then I have convinced myself that I cannot play tennis and now it is true.
Here is another example: If people believe that computers are stupid, they will act like computers are stupid. So, if people believe that artists cannot make money, they will act like artists cannot make money. This is because people want to fit in with the group, so if most people are pessimistic, they will be too and won't bother trying hard to succeed.
An individual's expectations about another person or entity eventually result in the other person or entity responding in ways that confirm the expectations in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bank failures during the Great Depression are a typical example of a self-fulfilling prophesy. When banks began to fail at an alarming rate, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Banking Act of 1933 into law. The act allowed the federal government to take over failing banks for the purpose of preventing a national banking crisis.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can also occur when individuals predict how they think others will react to certain situations, and then watch as they themselves behave in accordance with their expectations. For example, if someone predicts that you will come across as arrogant, he or she will probably be right. Based on this assumption, you might feel compelled to act in a manner consistent with this prediction by, for example, appearing confident even when you aren't.
Finally, predictions can become self-fulfilling prophecies when they develop such power over individuals that they influence what people do even though there was no proof of them being correct at the time they were made. This type of prediction is common in politics and religion, where leaders often find themselves acting in ways that please their followers even though they had no way of knowing if these actions would be appreciated.
A self-fulfilling prophesy is a process through which an initially incorrect expectation becomes confirmed by itself.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can occur in groups and are often used by leaders to explain why their predictions about what will happen do in fact cause people to act in ways that confirm those predictions. For example, if a leader predicts that someone will not perform well on an exam, others may decide not to help that person study because they expect him or her to fail the test.
The concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy was first described by American psychologist William James in his 1890 book The Principles of Psychology. He called it "the curious law of human action".
James suggested that our thoughts influence our feelings which in turn affect our actions which then produces new thoughts which repeat the pattern until a state of mind is reached where the thoughts are no longer thoughtless but conscious. This last stage of thinking, he said, was called "will" and its quality determined how we feel about ourselves and our environment.
Modern researchers have found many examples of this phenomenon in practice. One classic experiment conducted in 1964 examined whether predicting something bad would make it so.