Understanding the Self-Prophecy Phenomenon

The self-prophecy effect suggests that asking people to predict whether or not they will perform a target action leads to increased probability of performing that action, often in a socially normative direction. In two experiments, competing theories of cognitive dissonance and social identity activation were explored. Experiment 1 revealed that, following an experimentally manipulated prediction request, subjects’ self-identity with a target behavior (recycling) and self-esteem increased relative to a control group. In Experiment 2, self-esteem was manipulated, followed by a prediction request. Results suggested that self-prophecy effects may be the result of the activation of normative social identities.


Andrew Perkins, Ronn J. Smith, and David E. Sprott (2007) ,"Understanding the Self-Prophecy Phenomenon", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 462-467.


Andrew Perkins, Rice University, USA
Ronn J. Smith, University of Arkansas, USA
David E. Sprott, Washington State University, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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