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Self-fulfillment

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  1. Introduction
  2. The peer reviewed journal articles concerning self fulfilling prophecies
    1. The conclusions of Lee Jussim
    2. Teacher expectations and observations
  3. The focus popular media
  4. The birth of MTV
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

The controversy surrounding self-fulfilling prophecies, while originally centered on proving their existence, has recently settled on the probability of such phenomenon occurring in a natural environment. While not directly cited in this resource guide, the original ?Pygmalion Effect? experiment by Robert Rosenthal and Leonore Jacobson, while a success in its own self-absorbed goals, failed to make any connections outside of its own hypothesis. The Harvard professor and elementary school principal proved that teacher expectation can directly influence student achievement, but the experiment, conducted in a fixed environment, did not initially translate to the naturalistic world. The original teachers, the independent variables of the test, were told what to expect from their students, and although those students, a heterogeneous mixture of academic potentials, did in fact respond with positive correlation to the subsequent behaviors of their teachers, there was no guarantee that such cause and effect would occur in a literal classroom. In a series of experiments that followed in the decade after Rosenthal and Jacobson's revolutionary yet flawed research, the naturalistic implications of the Pygmalion Effect were established, answering the question of whether or not teachers do make such drastic predictions, basing their expectations on first impressions and superficial observations and inadvertently fulfilling their own prophecies concerning their students.

[...] Since most teachers are adults with equal knowledge of contemporary media, or even parents themselves, why do they not see beyond the physical appearance of their students and realize that the façade is not the whole story? The article insists that Christian parents should not permit their children to become what they see on television, that their docility is to blame for this ?lost generation,? but such shift of guilt seems impossible if adults are as believing in first impressions as they are in the classroom. [...]


[...] I found the excerpts useful, as some of the quotes were not available on the official Frontline website. However, the rest of the article focuses more or less on the actual advertising techniques, not on the effects of such marketing on the teenagers themselves. Young, Yolanda. Name Doesn't Have to Be a Burden.? USA Today 3 Jun. 2005: A15. Academic Search Premier Nov . This article, a small commentary piece in the news section of USA Today, gave an interesting perspective on the source of teacher expectations. [...]


[...] If only Rosenthal and Jacobson knew that teacher bias would only become more prevalent beyond gender and race, that expectation would only become more susceptible to myriad stereotypes, that observation would only become more important in a society placing increasing emphasis on the physical and visual components of personality and identity. It is sad, really, that these teenagers do not realize how inadvertently they hurt themselves by associating with such negative stereotypes. They forget that, while they may only listen to the music and emulate their favoirite rappers, they become these images in the eyes of mainstream society. [...]

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