What is the self fulfilling prophecy?

Labelling and the self-fulfilling prophecy explains criminal and anti-social behaviour in terms of societal factors, specifically the way others behave towards you.

The self-fulfilling prophecy shows how a belief or expectation of a person/group whether correct or not, affects the way a person/group will behave.

The concept of labelling is crucial. Labelling is using a generic and broad term to describe members of a minority group. The labels use inferior terms and imply negative connotations. The term is linked with the concept of stereotyping, which is a generalised and simplified view of an individual or situation that is based on limited evidence. E.g. most criminals are working class.

Labelling someone a criminal and then treating that person as such may produce criminal behaviour in the person who is subjected to this expectation.

This is because they see themselves in terms of the criminal label. The person fulfils the criminal label and becomes what the label says – a criminal. The prophecy fulfils itself.

Nish S. A Level Philosophy and Ethics tutor, GCSE Philosophy and Ethi...

2 months ago

Answered by Nish, an A Level Psychology tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£20 /hr

Marie P.

Degree: Psychology (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Psychology


“I am a first year Psychology student at Durham University. An interesting fact about me is that I come from the Czech republic - Prague. I am very outgoing, friendly and active. I have been tutoring others since I was sixteen the thing...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Carys R.

Degree: Combined Honours in Social Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Psychology, Geography+ 3 more

-Personal Statements-
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“Hello, I'm Carys! About me! I am in my 2nd year of studying Geography and Anthropology at Durham University.I really enjoy my degree and have always been interested in the contemporary challenges facing societies, so I hope that I ca...”

£20 /hr

Livia O.

Degree: Natural Sciences (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered: Psychology, Geography


“Who am I? Hello, my name is Livia Othen-Allen. I am a first-year Natural Sciences undergraduate at Durham University studying Psychology, Anthropology and Geography.  ”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£20 /hr

Nish S.

Degree: Psychology (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered: Psychology, Religious Studies+ 1 more

Religious Studies
Philosophy and Ethics

“I am a first year Psychology Student at the University of Exeter and have always been intrigued by human cognition and behaviour, this is reinforced by my passion for science and I hope that I can introduce this to you. Having only ...”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Nish

Explain how mutations can be beneficial, neutral or have harmful effects on the way a protein functions;

What is the self fulfilling prophecy?

Other A Level Psychology questions

Outline and evaluate research into the effects of leading questions on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony (8 marks)

Outline and describe the behavioural approach to psychology.

What is the difference between an experiment in a within-subject design and in a between-subject design?

How do I evaluate a key study?

View A Level Psychology tutors


We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss