Edexcel A2 Psychology - Criminal Psychology: Labelling and Self Fulfilling Prophecy

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  • Created by: Maria
  • Created on: 25-01-10 21:40

Labelling and Self Fulfilling Prophecy:

· Labelling and Self fulfilling prophecy explains how criminality can occur in individuals. Labelling takes place from the point of view of an observer and observed. The observer will make a prejudgement of someone, based on existing stereotypes or schemas – for example, expecting anti-social behaviour from someone wearing a hoody. From this, the observer will label the observed – for example, labelling a hoody as trouble. The label may create a false first impression of the observed, and the observer may ignore any pro-social behaviour and focus on anti-social behaviour. The observed typically resents the label, and may act out against it, confirming the label to the observer – so, the labelled hoody may shout out that he or she is not trouble, but the act of shouting confirms the label to the observer. As any pro-social behaviour is being ignored by the observer, the observed may stop acting pro-socially completely and thus the label is confirmed further. The observed may then act in the way expected of the label – so the hoody acts as trouble. This reinforces the label, and the observer believes it and will encourage the stereotype. The observed also


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