Presentation on theme: "SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY Negative beliefs predict negative behaviour If a teacher thinks you will fail in an exam you probably will!"— Presentation transcript:
SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY Negative beliefs predict negative behaviour If a teacher thinks you will fail in an exam you probably will!
WHY PEOPLE TURN TO CRIME A form of labelling. Based on the idea that an observer’s beliefs of expectations about a person or group influence their social interactions, and therefore elicits or creates the expected behaviour. (Merton, 1948). A form of stereotyping The observers beliefs are based on their schemas or stereotypes relating to that group or individual They will tend more to notice, and even seek behaviour that conforms to their expectations, and ignore that which doesn’t.This then acts as reinforcement of their opinion. (Selective social interaction).
WE TEND TO LIVE UP TO THE LABEL WE ARE GIVEN Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) studied self-fulfilling prophecy in a classroom: Pygmalion in the classroom. Teachers were allowed to overhear a conversation at the beginning of the year that identified 20 children in the class as ‘late developers’ about to ‘spurt’. The teachers believed this was based on an IQ test done, but it was random. At the end of the year, those 20 children did indeed have improved IQ scores, and continued to for 2 years. The ‘prophecy’ came true because the teachers responded differently to them (more feedback etc). What are the moral and ethical issues here?
The prophecy is set: A teacher believes a student is a low achiever Prophecy is fulfilled: The student does not work hard and is not inspired – they do not achieve Expectation: The teacher does not stretch or motivate the student
Snyder et al. (1977) Found that when male participants we told to get acquainted with a female assistant on the phone, what they were told about her affected the treatment of her, despite never having met. Some were told she was attractive, others were told she was not. When the male participant believed the female was attractive, he was more friendly and sociable towards her. When he told she was not, the males responded in an ‘aloof’ manner. This demonstrated that their treatment of the women was self-fulfilling, because when they were responded to with friendliness, they were then more friendly back..
How does this apply to explanations of criminal behaviour? When observers expect anti-social behaviour, they confirm expectations and seek confirmation in behaviour. The observed will then behave in anti-social ways due to the encouragement provided for it, their negative self- belief (that they are not capable of better behaviour). The pressure to conform to expectations, and the feeling that any pro-social behaviour is ignored means any effort to change is pointless.
EVALUATION It works better IF –More than one person holds the same expectation –When those expecting someone to behave in a certain way, and those behaving are not familiar to each other. –The expected behaviour is not far different from the individuals normal behaviour. –The expectation is negative It does not work IF –The person with the expected behaviour of the individual is of low power.
Ecological Validity – research cannot always be applied to real-life due to the amount of other influencing variables involved in experiments. Ethical issues to create criminals by treating them differently would be immoral Correlation studies show a link between expectations and outcome. But cause could be due to any amount of reasons Large amounts of experimental support reliable (e.g. Jahoda, 1954: ‘Wednesday Names’).