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self-fulfilling prophecy
A situation where “a false definition, in the beginning… evokes a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true.”

Canadians start with a false definition of who the best nine- and ten-year-old hockey players are. They’re just picking the oldest every year. But the way they treat those “all-stars” ends up making their original false judgement look correct. As Merton puts it: “this specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cit the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.”

From Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, page 25

We’ve all seen this.

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