Self-fulfilling prophecy communication creates a self-fulfilling prophecy – our expectations become reality.
Interestingly, self-fulfilling prophecy communication doesn’t just apply to our own expectations – it can also apply to the expectations of those around us. So if our boss believes we’re going to do great things, they might treat us differently and give us more responsibility, which could then lead us to actually succeed.
There are all sorts of situations where self-fulfilling prophecy communication can come into play – in relationships, in the workplace, in school, and pretty much anywhere. It’s an important concept to understand because it can influence our lives in pretty significant ways.
That’s why this article will cover self-fulfilling prophecy communication in detail – what it is, how it works, and some examples of how it manifests in everyday life. So whether you want to learn more about this topic for personal or professional reasons, read on – this article has everything you need to know about self-fulfilling prophecy communication.
Understanding Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication
You’ve probably heard of self-fulfilling prophecies, where someone believes something about themselves and it comes true because they act in line with that belief. Well, self-fulfilling prophecies can also happen between people in communication.
This is known as self-fulfilling prophecy communication.
It’s when someone believes something about another person based on their own biases and preconceptions and then communicates to the other person in a way that supports that belief – even if it’s not true. As a result, the other person starts to behave in line with that belief, and the self-fulfilling prophecy is realized.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can have a big impact on how we interact with others. It can cause us to make assumptions about others that may not be accurate, and those assumptions can lead to tension and conflict.
However, self-fulfilling prophecy communication can also be used positively, to help build rapport and trust. By understanding how self-fulfilling prophecies work, we can learn to use them to our advantage in communication.
How Does Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication Work?
Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and based on the things they said (or didn’t say), you just knew that the conversation wasn’t going to go well? You could feel the tension in the air, and it seemed like everything you said just made the other person more upset. If so, then you’ve experienced self-fulfilling prophecy communication firsthand.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is a pattern of communication where each person involved in the conversation expects (and often assumes) that the conversation will go poorly. As a result, they act in ways that make it more likely for the conversation to end badly.
For example, they might interrupt or talk over the other person, make assumptions about what they’re thinking or feeling, or withheld important information. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication often leads to conflict, because each person is focused on protecting themselves and preparing for the worst.
If self-fulfilling prophecy communication sounds familiar to you, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
It’s a common pattern of communication and one that can be very difficult to break out of. But with awareness and practice, it is possible to change the way you communicate and create more productive positive conversations.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication Examples
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is when we say or do things that unintentionally result in the thing we were trying to avoid happening. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication often happens when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or self-doubtful.
Here are some examples of self-fulfilling prophecy communication:
- “I’ll never be able to do this.” This self-doubt can lead to anxiety and a fear of failure, which can actually prevent you from succeeding.
- “This presentation is going to be a disaster.” If you go into a presentation feeling nervous and sure that you’re going to fail, chances are that you will indeed fail.
- “No one will ever be my friend.” If you believe that no one will ever want to be your friend, then you’re likely to project that belief in your body language and interactions with others, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Saying “I’m so sorry I’m such a screw-up” to your boss after you make a mistake at work.
- Saying “I’m so fat” to yourself when you look in the mirror.
- Saying “I’m so stupid” to yourself when you can’t figure out how to do something.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can easily become self-fulfilling cycles if we’re not careful. For example, if you believe that your friend is always late, you may not wait for them, which will then make them late.
Or, if you think your coworker is lazy, you may avoid asking them for help, which will then make them seem lazy. Breaking the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy communication requires first recognizing that our preconceived notions may be inaccurate.
Once we’re aware of that, we can take steps to open our minds and hearts to others and give them the benefit of the doubt. With a little effort, we can turn self-fulfilling prophecies into self-affirming ones.
9 Ultimate Benefits Of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is basically when you tell yourself something enough times that it eventually happens. It’s a lot like a self-fulfilling prophecy in general, but with communication instead of events.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can be used in a number of ways, but it’s most commonly used to improve self-confidence or motivation or to make someone else seem more competent.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication usually works best when it’s positive – telling yourself that you’re going to do great on a test, for example, is more likely to result in a good grade than telling yourself that you’re going to fail.
Here are 9 benefits of self-fulfilling prophecy communication:
- Increased motivation – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they are more likely to be motivated to achieve it. This is due to the self-fulfilling prophecy phenomenon, in which expectations about a situation cause people to behave in a way that makes the expected outcome more likely to happen.
- Increased confidence – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they are more likely to feel confident in their ability to achieve it. This can lead to better performance and increased success.
- Increased productivity – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they are more likely to be productive in their efforts to achieve it. This can lead to improved outcomes and faster progress toward the goal.
- Improved team dynamics – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they are more likely to work cooperatively with others toward achieving it. This can lead to improved team dynamics and increased productivity.
- Enhanced creativity – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they may be more inclined to come up with new and innovative ways of achieving it. This can lead to greater creativity and problem-solving ability.
- Improved decision-making – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they may be more inclined to make better decisions in order to achieve it. This can lead to improved outcomes and successful goal attainment.
- Enhanced focus – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they may be more inclined to focus their efforts on attaining it. This can lead to greater productivity and effectiveness.
- Greater resilience – When people believe that they are capable of achieving a goal, they may be more resilient in the face of setbacks or challenges along the way. This can help them stay focused on the goal and ultimately achieve it.
- Greater satisfaction – When people achieve their goals, they tend to feel happier and more satisfied with their lives overall. This is due in part to the self-fulfilling prophecy phenomenon, as mentioned earlier.
10 Lethal Effects Of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is the act of communicating a prophecy with the goal of making it come true. This can be done intentionally or unintentionally, and the effects can be positive or negative.
Self-fulfilling prophecies are often self-fulfilling because people believe them to be true, and they act accordingly. Self-fulfilling prophecies can also create a self-reinforcing feedback loop, where the prophecy becomes self-perpetuating.
Below are 10 effects of self-fulfilling prophecy communication:
1. Creates A Positive Or Negative Performance Spiral
Self-fulfilling prophecies can create positive or negative performance spirals. A positive performance spiral is created when we have a positive self-fulfilling prophecy about someone or something.
For example, let’s say you believe your friend is a great tennis player. You tell them they are going to win their next tennis match.
They play their best and they win!
Because you believed in them, they played their best and achieved a positive outcome. A negative performance spiral is created when we have a negative self-fulfilling prophecy about someone or something.
For example, let’s say you believe your friend is a terrible tennis player. You tell them they are going to lose their next tennis match. They get nervous and they play badly and they lose! Because you didn’t believe in them, they played badly and achieved a negative outcome.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can create either positive or negative performance spirals. It all depends on what we believe.
2. Establishes Expectations That Affect How We Behave
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a communication that establishes expectations that affect how we behave. When we act in accordance with these expectations, they become true. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can result in a positive or negative outcome.
For example, if you expect to fail a test, you may study less and ultimately get a lower grade. However, if you expect to do well on a test, you may study more and achieve a higher grade. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can have a significant impact on our lives and should be used carefully.
3. Distorts Our Perceptions Of Reality
Have you ever had the feeling that you were being watched, only to turn around and see someone staring at you? It’s almost as if they were somehow able to read your thoughts. While this may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, it’s actually an example of self-fulfilling prophecy communication.
This phenomenon occurs when our expectations about a situation cause us to act in ways that make those expectations come true. For example, if you believe that someone is staring at you, you may start to feel self-conscious and fidgety, which will in turn cause the other person to stare at you more.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can often distort our perceptions of reality by causing us to see what we expect to see, rather than what is actually there.
4. Leads To Self-Handicapping
Have you ever had one of those days where you just felt like everything was going wrong? Maybe you overslept, or you spilled coffee on your shirt. Whatever the case may be, it can seem like the universe is conspiring against you.
And as the day goes on, things just keep getting worse and worse.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can also lead to self-handicapping behaviors. Self-handicapping is when we create obstacles for ourselves in order to make excuses for future failure.
For example, let’s say you’re about to take a test that you’re really anxious about. In order to self-handicap, you might not study as much as you should have or stay up late the night before the test partying instead of sleeping.
That way, if you do poorly on the test, you can blame it on the fact that you didn’t study enough or got too little sleep. But in reality, it was your self-fulfilling prophecy communication and self-handicapping behaviors that set you up for failure.
So next time you find yourself having a bad day or feeling anxious about an upcoming event, take a step back and see if self-fulfilling prophecy communication might be to blame. Once you’re aware of the phenomenon, you can start to work on changing your thoughts and behaviors so that they don’t end up sabotaging your success.
5. Causes Us To Be More Competitive Or Cooperative
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is when we act in accordance with what we believe the other person is thinking or feeling. If we think the other person is going to be cooperative, we’re more likely to be cooperative ourselves.
On the other hand, if we think the other person is going to be competitive, we’re more likely to act in a competitive way as well. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can cause us to behave in ways that confirm our expectations of the other person, which can then lead to more competition or cooperation between us.
6. Biases Our Judgments And Decision Making
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can bias our judgments and decision-making. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can cause us to make inaccurate judgments and decisions because we are basing them on our own biases and expectations instead of on reality.
It can also lead to conflict and misunderstanding because we are not taking into account the other person’s perspective. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can be avoided by being aware of our own biases and expectations, and by making an effort to understand the other person’s perspective.
7. Increases Our Stress Levels And Impede Our Performance
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can increase our stress levels and impede our performance because it causes us to doubt ourselves and our abilities. When we doubt ourselves, we are more likely to make mistakes and feel stressed.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can also cause us to miss out on opportunities because we don’t think we can do them or we’re not confident in our abilities. We all have self-doubt from time to time, but if self-fulfilling prophecy communication is negatively impacting your life, it’s important to talk to someone about it so you can get help.
8. Causes Us To Over Or Under Prepare For Tasks
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can cause us to over or under-prepare for tasks. It usually happens when we’re talking to other people about a task we’re going to do. For example, if we’re going to take a test, we might tell our friend that we’re going to study for it for five hours.
Then, when we actually go to study, we only study for three hours because we’ve already told our friend that we’re going to study for five hours. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can also cause us to under-prepare for tasks.
For example, if we’re going to take a test, we might tell our friends that we’re only going to study for one hour. Then, when we actually go to study, we only study for one hour because we’ve already told our friend that we’re only going to study for one hour.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can cause us to over or under-prepare for tasks because it can change our perceptions of how difficult the task is and how much time we need to spend on the task.
9. Affects The Way We Interact With Others
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can have a powerful impact on the way we interact with others. For example, if you expect someone to be friendly, you may smile at them and say hello. The other person is likely to respond positively to this, confirming your expectations.
On the other hand, if you expect someone to be rude, you may speak to them in a curt manner and avoid eye contact. This is likely to elicit a negative response from the other person, which may then reinforce your original expectation.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can thus create a self-perpetuating cycle of negativity or positivity.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can also lead us to make inaccurate assumptions about others. For instance, if we believe that someone is intelligent, we may pay more attention to their ideas and give less weight to critical feedback.
Conversely, if we believe someone is not intelligent, we may disregard their ideas altogether. In either case, self-fulfilling prophecy communication can distort our perceptions of others and prevent us from seeing them clearly.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is an important phenomenon to be aware of because it can affect the way we interact with others in both positive and negative ways. By understanding how self-fulfilling prophecies work, we can avoid falling prey to them and instead use them to our advantage.
10. Is A Powerful Tool That Can Be Used To Improve Or Harm Performance
Have you ever heard the saying, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”? This is a self-fulfilling prophecy at work.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can be a powerful tool that can be used to improve or harm performance. When we tell ourselves we can’t do something, we usually don’t even try.
Our negative self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
On the other hand, when we believe in ourselves and our abilities, we are more likely to take risks and put in the hard work necessary to succeed. Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is a two-edged sword that should be used with caution. Wielded correctly, it can be a powerful tool for positive change. But used incorrectly, it can do more harm than good.
Theoretical Approaches To Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is when a person’s expectations about another person or situation cause them to act in ways that bring about the predicted outcome. The self-fulfilling prophecy communication has been studied in four theoretical approaches: social identity theory, expectancy confirmation theory, attribution theory, and labeling theory.
1. Social Identity Theory
Social identity theory posits that people have a need to feel good about themselves and that they do this by identifying with groups that have positive attributes.
In self-fulfilling prophecy communication, people tend to see others who are members of their ingroup (i.e., those with similar characteristics) in a more positive light and those who are members of an outgroup (i.e., those with dissimilar characteristics) in a more negative light.
This tendency can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies in which people’s expectations about others influence their interactions with those others, resulting in the fulfillment of those expectations.
2. Expectancy Confirmation Theory
The second theoretical approach, expectancy confirmation theory, suggests that self-fulfilling prophecies occur when people’s preexisting beliefs lead them to selectively attend to information that confirms those beliefs while ignoring information that disconfirms them.
Thus, in self-fulfilling prophecy communication, people may seek out information that supports their beliefs about others and discount information that does not. As a result, their expectations are likely to be fulfilled.
3. Attribution Theory
The third theoretical approach, attribution theory, suggests that self-fulfilling prophecies can occur when people attribute the behavior of others to internal dispositional factors (i.e., factors within the person him- or herself) rather than external situational factors (i.e., factors outside the person).
In self-fulfilling prophecy communication, if people attribute the negative behavior of another person to an internal dispositional factor (such as laziness), they are likely to act toward that person in ways that elicit the predicted negative behavior (thus confirming their initial attribution).
4. Labeling Theory
Finally, labeling theory posits that self-fulfilling prophecies can occur when people place labels on others and then treat them accordingly. In self-fulfilling prophecy communication, if people label another person as “lazy,” they are likely to interact with that person in ways that reinforce the label (thus confirming their initial impression).
Each of these approaches offers insights into the way self-fulfilled prophecies can come about and the role they can play in social interaction.
Applications Of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Communication
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is the communication of expecting a future behavior or result and consequently modifying one’s own behavior or environment to ensure that the result or behavior manifests.
It is a type of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Self-fulfilling prophecies are often used in social psychology to explain various attitudes, such as racism and sexism. Self-fulfilling prophecies can also be found in everyday life:
Organizations often seek to foster self-fulfilling prophecies among employees in order to improve performance. For example, setting high expectations for employees can lead them to work harder and meet those expectations.
Or when employees have low expectations of their company and think it will fail, so they don’t work hard and contribute to its demise. Another example is when an employer has low expectations of an employee and treats them poorly, which leads the employee to underperform.
In education, self-fulfilling prophecies can play a role in academic performance. Teachers may have different expectations for students based on their race or socioeconomic status. These expectations can influence how teachers interact with students and how much effort they put into teaching them.
As a result, students may meet the expectations that have been set for them.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can also occur in personal relationships. For example, if someone expects their partner to cheat on them, they may act in ways that make their partner more likely to cheat.
Self-fulfilling prophecies can have positive or negative outcomes depending on the expectation. It is important to be aware of the potential for self-fulfilling prophecies in order to avoid them if desired or foster them if they would be beneficial.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication is when we prejudge someone based on our own biases and then act in a way that reinforces those biases. Our actions can then lead the other person to behave in a way that confirms our original beliefs about them.
Self-fulfilling prophecy communication can be destructive and lead to discrimination and prejudice. It’s important to be aware of our own biases and try to avoid self-fulfilling prophecy communication.
Clark, J. L., & Green, M. C. (2018). Self-fulfilling prophecies: Perceived reality of online interaction drives expected outcomes of online communication. Personality and Individual Differences, 133, 73–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.08.031
Stukas, A., & Snyder, M. (2016). Self-Fulfilling Prophecies. Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 92–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-397045-9.00220-2