Definition of Self-fulfilling Prophecy
(noun) An expectation that leads to actions or behaviors causing the expectation to become a reality.
Example of Self-fulfilling Prophecy
- A student who understand the material but believes they will fail a test, acts as if they will, and therefore does.
Etymology of Self-fulfilling Prophecy
- Theorized by Robert Merton (1910–2003) in Social Theory and Social Structure (1949, revised in 1957 and 1968).
Self-fulfilling Prophecy Pronunciation
Syllabification: self ful·fill·ing proph·e·cy
- American English – /selfful-fIl-ing prAHf-uh-see/
- British English – /self-ful-fIl-ing prOf-i-see/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /sɛlf-fʊlˈfɪlɪŋ ˈprɑfəsi/
- British English – /sɛlf-fʊlˈfɪlɪŋ ˈprɒfɪsi/
- Plural: self-fulfilling prophecies
- Variant spelling: selffulfilling prophecy
- Also called self-defeating prophecy.
- Word origin of “self-” and “fulfill” and “prophecy” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
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Cite the Definition of Self-fulfilling Prophecy
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “self-fulfilling prophecy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 28, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
self-fulfilling prophecy. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “self-fulfilling prophecy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“self-fulfilling prophecy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy/>.