A recurring theme in the psychological literature is that the self-fulfilling effect of stereotypes can accumulate across perceivers. This article provides the first empirical support for this long-standing hypothesis. In three experiments (Ns = 123-241), targets more strongly confirmed a stereotype as the number of perceivers who held stereotypic expectations about them increased. A fourth experiment (N = 121) showed that new perceivers judged targets according to the stereotypic behaviors they had previously been channeled to adopt, an effect that even occurred among perceivers who were privy to the fact that targets' behavior had been shaped by the actions of others. The authors discuss ways in which these effects may contribute to group inequalities.
- Behavioral confirmation
- Self-fulfilling prophecy