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Self Fulfilling Prophecy What it is, evidence, how it applies to crime, evaluation and exam questions.

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Presentation on theme: "Self Fulfilling Prophecy What it is, evidence, how it applies to crime, evaluation and exam questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Self Fulfilling Prophecy What it is, evidence, how it applies to crime, evaluation and exam questions

2 Self Fulfilling Prophecy ▪ We become what people expect us to become ▪ … and so a negative belief predicts a negative behaviour ▪ If a teacher thinks you will fail in an exam you probably will!

3 Labelling

4 ▪ In pairs list some labels we give to different groups (in terms of criminal activity) and discuss what affect this may have on them.

5 The effects of labelling 1.Labels can affect an individuals self concept (how we see ourselves) and lead to SFP. 2.Labels can affect the way others treat you and may lead to SFP 3.Society may label people according to the way others treat you and this may lead to SFP.

6

7 Rosenthal and Jacobson (1968) studied self- fulfilling prophecy in a classroom. All students in a single California elementary school were given a disguised IQ test at the beginning of the study. These scores were not disclosed to teachers. Teachers were told that some of their students (about 20% of the school chosen at random) could be expected to be "spurters" that year, doing better than expected in comparison to their classmates. The spurters' names were made known to the teachers. At the end of the study all students were again tested with the same IQ-test used at the beginning of the study. At the end of the year, those 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?

8 Jahoda’s (1954) study of names. ▪ Jahoda studied Ashanti people who give boys ‘soul names’ when they are born which supposedly alters their characters. ▪ For example, boys born on a Wednesday are called ‘Kwaku’ and are expected to behave in an aggressive, violent way. ▪ Jahoda discovered that 13.5% of boys referred to court had ‘Wednesday’ names and they were responsible for 22% of violent crime. ▪ This implies that expectations of the boy’s behaviours due to stereotypes caused differential treatment and therefore they fulfilled the expectations caused by their names.

9 On a separate sheet of paper ▪ What is meant by the term Self fulfilling prophecy? (4 marks)

10 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).

11 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.

12 But …. ▪ 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

13 Evaluation StrengthsWeaknesses

14 Discuss how SFP may account for some instances of crime. (8 marks)


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