Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Topics: Stereotype, Cognition, African American Pages: 2 (692 words) Published: October 3, 2006
The first topic I plan on discussing is how the self-fulfilling prophecy can affect a person's self-esteem. The self-fulfilling prophecy explains how one's expectations about another person will eventually lead that person to behave in ways that would confirm these expectations. The self-fulfilling prophecy can affect a person's self-esteem, which is a person's evaluation of himself or herself (lecture, 9/29/04). According to the self-fulfilling prophecy, we would alter our behavior to confirm people's expectations about us. Therefore, a negative comment and expectation about us could arouse a negative view of ourselves which may lower our self-esteem. For example, if a person were to make a comment that I was irresponsible and expected me to not handle my tasks responsibly; I would then confirm these expectations by acting irresponsibly. By confirming these expectations and behaving in that manner, I am more likely to hold a more negative view of myself which would in turn lower my self-esteem.

Secondly, I plan on discussing on how cognitive dissonance is able to affect the self. Cognitive dissonance explains about our experience of being at the stand of having incompatible thoughts (lecture, 11/1/04). The self-discrepancy theory however, suggests that we have a few conceptions of the self, where one of them is called the ideal self. The ideal self touches on the idea of what we would like to be (lecture, 11/22/04). When people begin to feel that their behavior goes against their sense of morality, they attempt to adjust this by changing either their behavior or cognitions to justify themselves, in order to fit the idea of their ideal self better. Also, if we wished to adjust our behavior, we would probably attempt to do this by exercising the executive control function where we would begin to regulate our behavior in ways which would bring it in line with the dissonant cognition. For example, if I was asked to sign an animal-rights poster stating that I...
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