The prediction of events that do in fact come about, because of one's belief in the prediction and enactment or lack of enactment on that belief, thus reinforcing the belief, i.e., if a person or group predicts and deeply believes that certain events will come about, that person or group will (sometimes unconsciously) modify behaviors or engage in those behaviors that will create those situations that will cause the predicted events to come about. Robert K. Merton developed this concept out of his interpretation of W. I. Thomas' "definition of the situation," i.e., "If men define things as real, they are real in their consequences." An example of a self-fulfilling prophecy would be a stock market crash - you would lose your money if you don't get out as quickly as possible, so you sell and so do many others, and, indeed, many people lose money because the values of the stocks decrease.

 










   

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