What is a self-fulfilling prophecy?

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief about a future event that leads people to act a certain way, ultimately bringing about the expected outcome. In other words, we cause something to happen just because we expect it.

This suggests that beliefs have the power to alter people’s behaviour in such a way that they become a new reality in the end. Optimism bias can create a self-fulfilling prophecy: when we expect positive things, we are more likely to align our actions with this belief and try harder to influence the outcome.