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  • Self-fulfilling prophecy

    A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when an individual's belief or expectation about a situation influences their behavior in a way that brings about outcomes consistent with the initial belief. If someone holds a positive expectation, they may act in ways that increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. Conversely, if someone holds a negative expectation, their behavior may unintentionally contribute to the fulfillment of that negative outcome. In essence, our beliefs can shape our actions, which, in turn, influence the outcome and confirm our initial belief.

    In the context of an online community, self-fulfilling prophecies can have a significant impact. For example, if community members believe that a particular user is disruptive or unhelpful, they may interact with that user in a negative or dismissive manner, further reinforcing their initial perception. This can lead to a cycle of negative interactions and outcomes that align with the original belief, potentially driving the user to disengage or exhibit more negative behavior. Conversely, if community members approach new members with positive expectations and supportive interactions, they can foster a welcoming environment that encourages participation and positive contributions, reinforcing the initial positive beliefs. Understanding the role of self-fulfilling prophecies within online communities can help shape community norms, promote constructive interactions, and mitigate the potential for negative spirals of behavior and outcomes.

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