self fulfilling prophecies

self fulfilling prophecies - Review Copyright 1986 by the...

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Review Copyright 1986 by the American Psychological Aa8ociation,Inc. L93, No. 4,429-445 Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: A Theoretical and Integrative Review LeeJussim University ofMichigan Self-fulfilling prophecieshavebecomeamajorareaofresearchforsocial,personality,developmental, and educational psychologists. This article reviews classroom self-fulfilling prophecies in terms of three sequential stages: (a) Teachers develop expectations, (b) teachers treat students differently de- pending on their expectations, and (c) students react to this treatment in expectancy-confirming ways. The focus of the review is on the social and psychological events occurring at each of these stages, the causal processes linking one stage to the next, and the conditions limiting the occurrence of self-fulfilling prophecies. Finally, it provides a theoretical framework for both understanding past research and guiding future research on self-fulfilling prophecies. This article presents a model of the social and psychological processes underlying self- fulfilling prophecies in the classroom . In general, the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy refers to situa- tions in which one person's expectations about a second person lead the second person to act in ways that confirm the first per- son's original expectation. W hen applied to classroom s, the self-fulfilling prophecy refers to situations in which a teacher's expectations about a student's future achievem ent evoke from the student perform ance levels consistent w ith the teacher's ex- pectations. Over the last 20 years, self-fulfilling prophecies have generated a trem endous am ount of em pirical research and sev- eral theoretical reviews.The ongoing interest in this area attests to both its theoretical and practical im portance. Two rather sim ilar descriptive m odels of the stages occurring in self-fulfilling propheciesexist(Brophy & Good, 1974;Darley & Fazio, 1980).Both modelsincorporate six or seven steps in a sequence of psychological and behavioral events, and both agree on three broad and general stages: T eachers develop expecta- tions, teachers treat students differently depending on their ex- pectations, and students react to this differential treatment in ways that confirm the expectations (Darley & Fazio's model would refer to the teacher and student as, respectively, "per- ceiver" and "target"). This sequence of three stages will serve as the general framework for the present review. In this article it is proposed that self-fulfilling prophecies in- corporate a broad array of com plex social and psychological processes.Perhapsbecauseofthiscomplexity,previousreviews have not provided a com prehensive perspective on self-fulfilling prophecy processes. Some reviews have described empirical This article wasbased on work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. A previous version received the Uni- versity of Michigan Philip Brickman Award. The author gratefully acknowledges the advice and insightful sugges- tions provided by
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self fulfilling prophecies - Review Copyright 1986 by the...

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