Monday, June 18, 2012

Belief Creates Fact - Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

"the influence of a prediction upon the event predicted"
-Karl Popper

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come 'true'. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

[the 24hr bank insolvency parable where for no reason a large number of people withdraw their money on a given day, which leads to people..starting rumors..which leads to the bank's actual insolvency]

The parable tells us that public definitions of a situation (prophecies or predictions) become an integral part of the situation and thus affect subsequent developments. This is peculiar to human affairs. It is not found in the world of nature, untouched by human hands.

Merton, Robert K (1968). Social Theory and Social Structure. New York: Free Press. pp. 477. ISBN 978-0-02-921130-4. OCLC 253949.

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