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Predictions of Behavior

More often than not people do what is expected of them. This is not an unusual statement when one considers that to live in a communal society, one must share norms and values in order to get along with other members of that society. As one becomes more and more familiar with another's behavior, one believes that they can more accurately predict how the other will behave in any given situation. However, as seminal studies have shown, this assumed behavior may be highly influenced by the predictions or prophesies (Rosenthal & Jacobson, 1968, p. vii).

In one important case, these expectations are central to the development of a child  namely that of the expectations of teachers as related to a child's selfperception. A substantial amount of research has shown that a child's perceptions of both positive and negative expectations from teachers has a vital effect on the manner in which they perceive themselves and, to a great extent, on how the child performs in the classroom (Brophy, 1983, pp. 631-661; Darley & Fazio, 1980, pp. 867-881; Harris & Rosenthal, 1985, pp. 363-386; Weinstein, 1985, pp. 329-350).

Theoretically, the interactionist theory of perception holds that people in any social relationship act within the norms expected of them by society or the individual (Nash, 1976, p. 8). For example, the knowledge one holds about themselves (the Self), emerges as a result of social interaction with others (Weber, 1964). Perception, on the other hand, is an active process in which one notices "subjectively meaningful phenomenon" (Nash, 1976, p. 10).

The types of data that people find meaningful are a different matter. One person might find a gesture or tone to mean something far more serious than another. If for instance, one is used to being greeted a certain way every day by a certain person, and that greeting is changed in any way, the perceived difference is noticeable. As humans are basically creatures of habit...

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Predictions of Behavior. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 12:45, February 20, 2017, from