chapter  3
10 Pages

Self-Prophecy as a Behavior Modification Technique in the United States

Although the act of making a prediction about one’s own behavior seems itself benign, several researchers have shown in multiple contexts that predicting one’s own behavior can induce subsequent action consistent with the prediction, yet different than would otherwise have been observed (see Spangenberg & Greenwald, 1999, for a review). In other words, the prediction becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This self-prophecy effect gives rise to a straightforward influence strategy, as Greenwald, Carnot, Beach, and Young (1987) stated: “The influence technique is remarkably simple: It involves asking people to predict whether they will perform the target action (p. 315).”