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Although self-fulfilling prophecies can manifest in a variety of ways, Merton was most interested in understanding how the phenomenon plays out in racial prejudice and discrimination.

He noticed that people with prejudices about individuals of other races were likely to treat them in such a way that these individuals were actually encouraged to behave in ways that confirmed the prejudices.

Of course, Oedipus has no wish to kill the man he believes is his father or marry the woman he believes is his mother, so he abandons his home and foster parents and heads off to the city.

In the city, he meets a stranger and ends up in a fight with him.

These prophecies can involve intrapersonal processes (i.e., an individual’s belief affects his or her own behavior) and/or interpersonal processes (i.e., an individual’s belief affects another’s behavior).

The placebo effect is one example of an interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecy, while expectations about a spouse cheating that lead to that spouse cheating would be considered an interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecy (Biggs, 2009).

Do you ever make a prediction and fancy yourself prescient when your prediction “comes true?

” You may not believe yourself to be a fortune-teller, but you likely find yourself to be surprisingly accurate with your predictions at least once in a while.

When our beliefs and expectations influence our behavior at the subconscious level, we are enacting what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.You’ve surely heard of self-fulfilling prophecies before, but we’ll cover a basic definition to make sure we’re on the same page.A self-fulfilling prophecy refers to a belief or expectation that an individual holds about a future event that manifests because the individual holds it (Good Therapy, 2015).However, Oedipus was found and raised by foster parents, under the assumption that they were his real parents.One day, he is also confronted with a dire warning—that he will kill his father and marry his widowed mother.

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