„The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true".“

—  Мертон, Роберт Кинг, книга Social Theory and Social Structure

p. 477 (1968 Enlarged edition)
Social Theory and Social Structure (1949)
Контексте: The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come "true". This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

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