Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in Ability Settings

Jason Weaver, Jennifer Filson Moses, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated that one persons expectations can influence the behavior of another person, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. This study examined the effects of ability-based expectations in an experiment in which some participants ("coaches") were assigned false expectations of the basketball free-throw shooting ability of other participants ("players"). Coaches allocated more opportunities to players for whom the false expectation was positive, and fewer shots to players for whom the false expectation was negative. In turn, players who were allocated more shots made a higher percentage of them, thereby confirming their coaches expectations about their shooting ability, and were more confident in their shooting ability following the task, than players who were allocated fewer shots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Pygmalion effect
  • expectations
  • self-fulfilling prophecy
  • sports


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecies in Ability Settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this