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.
- Pygmalion effect
- self-fulfilling prophecy