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In standard (American) English, what would a one- (or possibly two) word way to describe the expression, self-fulfilling prophecy1?

Searching through Google and the dictionary, I could only come up with ouroboric or cyclic, but both of those seem a bit... off.

Given the example found on the Wikipedia page for self-fulfilling prophecy2:

This specific form of self-fulfilling prophecy is very common as it can take on many forms. This type would imply that the expectancy for a party to act a certain way based on race, religion, gender and much more, would eventually lead to said party imitating the stereotype.

The ideal usage would be something along the lines of, I understand you believe your views on racial stereotypes are realistic, but it's a very [insert word here] viewpoint.

Would self-fulfilling work by itself?

edit (pasting a comment in here):

In the example I'm aiming to point out that somebody's viewpoint may (may is the keyword here) be realistic, but all the realism does is cause more of the same bad behavior... if that makes sense.

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Self-perpetuating? That emphasizes the causation aspect a bit more, if that's what you're after.

  • Ah, I like this one because, like you said, it emphasizes causation which is what I was trying to explain to my friend in the first place. Thanks! – Eric Lagergren Sep 10 '15 at 3:03
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The ideal usage would be something along the lines of, I understand you believe your views on racial stereotypes are realistic, but it's a very [insert word here] viewpoint.

Self-fulfilling viewpoint sort of works but I think a better phrase for this is:

self-reinforcing delusion

creates conditions that reinforce that false belief or opinion.

quora

Your example begs a word to modify viewpoint not delusion. I don't think it's that drastic a difference but I feel compelled to define it on it's own:

Self-reinforcement

a process whereby individuals control their own behavior by rewarding themselves when a certain standard of performance has been attained or surpassed.

springer

This meaning works nicely if you allow that the person doing this might not be aware of it.

  • "Your example begs a word to modify viewpoint not delusion" Sort of. In the example I'm aiming to point out that somebody's viewpoint may (may is the keyword here) be realistic, but all the realism does is cause more of the same bad behavior... if that makes sense. Sorry, brain is fried after working today. – Eric Lagergren Sep 10 '15 at 2:47
  • @eric_lagergren I understand you don't want to add the judgement that using "delusion" brings. What I meant was that you should be able to use "Self-reinforcing viewpoint" and not loose our intended meaning. – candied_orange Sep 10 '15 at 3:01
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Perhaps 'reflexive' or 'self-referential' might be a term you want.

A basic definition of 'reflexive' is

referring back to itself

(WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. S.v. "reflexive." Retrieved September 10 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reflexive).

A basic definition of self-referential is

Referring to oneself or itself

(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. S.v. "self-referential." Retrieved September 10 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-referential).

In social theory, 'reflexive' may be defined as a causal loop:

Reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect. A reflexive relationship is bidirectional with both the cause and the effect affecting one another in a situation that does not render both functions causes and effects. In sociology, reflexivity therefore comes to mean an act of self-reference where examination or action "bends back on", refers to, and affects the entity instigating the action or examination.

(Sourced from World Heritage Encyclopedia™ licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Retrieved September 10 2015 from "Reflexivity (social theory)".)

A more concise definition is this:

Reflexivity occurs in social systems when an actor observes and thinks about his or her actions and their consequences and then modifies his or her behavior.

(From "REFLEXIVITY IN SOCIAL SYSTEMS: THE THEORIES OF GEORGE SOROS", by George Umpleby, July 8 2007. Retrieved September 10 2015.)

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You may consider a situation to be paradoxical

  • I don't see how that relates to self-fulfillment. – Chenmunka Jun 2 '17 at 8:20

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