Self Fulfilling Prophecy Analysis

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The self-fulfilling prophecy as laid out in ‘Pygmalion In The Classroom’ by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jackson is a component of the stereotype threat that Claude M. Steele discusses in his 1997 article ‘A Threat in the Air; How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance.’ Rosenthal and Jackson define the self-fulfilling prophecy as teachers treating students based on their expectations of whether or not the student will be successful. Accordingly, students will then meet the teacher’s expectations of success or failure, thus falling victim to the self-fulfilling prophecy. The stereotype theory expands past that as it looks at how people conform to, or disregard, stereotypes set upon them by the society in which they live.…show more content…
People are able to disprove a bad stereotype by rising above society’s low expectations. In an attempt to disprove a negative stereotype, a person must not only do better than their stereotype, but also better than a majority of their peers. Those who break a stereotype may see a positive in two aspects: proving their self-worth and breaking a stereotype placed upon their group. However, they may also experience the same effects by those who adhere to a positive stereotype; they must constantly rise above. The self-fulfilling prophecy operates as a subset of the stereotype theory because it does not encompass the full range of options that the stereotype theory does. It looks at the effect placed on children at the micro level of a teacher’s influence, rather than the macro level of the society, family, and community that the stereotype theory looks at. While the stereotype theory and the self-fulfilling prophecy have some similarities, it is the opportunity to break free of the expectations placed upon a person that separates the two
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