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What is Self-Fulfilling Prophecy



Self-fulfilling prophecy is coined by 20th-century sociologist Robert K Merton.  In his 1948 article Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Merton defines it in the following terms:

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior 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.

Which to put in a simple way is a phenomenon where first an individual predict something and that prediction later comes true, but it’s not because of some supernatural power but rather the prediction itself comes true, directly or indirectly, because of the prophecy. For example, a father says “my elder son is not going to achieve anything in his life, he gonna be a loser.” This thought of him drives him to invest less on the son’s study, often neglects him, shows less of care and affection.

All these factors negatively impact the son’s life. No better education, no love and care and affection, despised and neglected, low in self esteem, lead the son to achieve nothing much in life.Then father be like “Look, I told you all, that my elder son will not achieve anything in his life..gonna be a loser”

That is self-fulfilling prophecy. You predict something and then knowingly/unknowingly act to cause the prediction come true. “Mark my word, our relationship will not last long” “My daughter will make me proud some day” “He is a terrible leader. He will fail our country” are few examples that we often hear in our day to day life, and as the prophecy comes true, they come and say “Look, I told you!” What the person fails to see is, his prediction came true because he acted upon and influenced the involved parties to react enough to ultimately fulfill the prophecy.Self-fulfilling prophecy has a wider implication in all aspects of our life. The prominent real-world example is, inflation. Mass assumes rice price will go up, then everyone starts buying rice, thus high in demand, and ultimately raising price of rice. Another example is politics. Opposition party claims the new government is not good for country, then they start opposing the government for everything it does, creating more political chaos, and ultimately the new government turns out to be bad for the country.
It can also have a positive effect though. Like on above examples from positive side. Pygmalion effect as is popularly known.
People react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions. — Thomas Theoram.
Therefore, they say, you become what you believe in, you get what you want, things can happen as you wish, Positive wants and wishes lead to positive outcomes, negative to negative outcomes.To sum up, self-fulfilling prophecy and how it works, this quote of Mahatma Gandhi says it all,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

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What is Bandwagon Effect?



Bandwagon effect is one of the well-known and understood cognitive biases (CLICK HERE if you don’t know about cognitive bias).

Have you ever skipped a video on YouTube because it had more dislikes than likes?  Remember the Facebook page that you didn’t hit “Like” because it didn’t have much of followers? Ever thought why? It’s because you were cognitively biased.  You decision to not watch the video or not follow the page was based up on the perceived unpopularity.  Since it didn’t have much like, you thought not worthy to watch or follow and decided to skip without even giving a try.  This phenomenon of liking or disliking something purely based on what others in general have done is called Bandwagon Effect.

The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon in which people do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override. — Investopedia

This psychological phenomenon has wide implications, especially in marketing and politics.  “People generally like or do whatever everyone else in majority are liking or doing” is the core mantra that marketers and political strategists go with to position their products/services or agendas.

We are constantly being attempted to be manipulated using the bandwagon tendency in us.  In a natural state, it’s not that bad to follow the herd, because you will save time, and reduce risk, and fit into the crowd for doing what everybody doing.

But now imagine, crowds are bought except you yourself.  Or say, with vested interest acted like a crowd to influence you.

To put in simple perspective, you went to a market to buy something.  There was this shop where everyone seems buying, and you didn’t know all those customers were actually not real customers, but rather pretending to be to influence you.  Or say, there is this Facebook page with lots of Likes, but those likes were bought ones.  Or say, a youtube video with million views but was actually a bought one.

In today’s world of money and technology, it’s not really hard to influence humans.  However, it’s not hard to not let anyone influence your decision-making or judgment.  It all starts from self.  Ask yourself, do you really like it or not, do you really want it or not, do you really doing it for yourself or not? Keeping yourself in center, doing or liking per your own desire, for your own reason, per your own need, is all you need to do to not be cognitively biased with Bandwagon effect.

Not liking someone (Trump, Justin Bieber, etc) because of their ideologies or works is one thing.  Not liking them because others are disliking them is bandwagon effect.  Same with wanting iPhone because you genuinly like iPhone is one thing, and because others are liking is, Bandwagon Effect.

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What is Cognitive Bias?



Before everything we do, there happens a decision-making in our brain and as per the decision made, we act.  Before we buy something, we think and make decision and act accordingly.  

Before we enrol on something, we think and decide whether to enrol or not.  Before we say yes or no to anyone’s proposal, we think and then only give our decision.  The decision-making happens throughout our life, from dawn to dusk.  Ever thought why you say Yes, when you decide to say yes? Every thought what are the bases behind every decision you make? How do our brain really functions in decision making? Scary part.  If brain can be always right, why would there be wrong decisions? People decide to date with wrong person just to regret later.  People decide to buy something just to feel money wasted, later.  We join colleges, choose courses, and some of us regret.  There are so many instances that we have made poor decisions in life.  WHY DID THAT HAPPEN? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

Also, we humans are constantly observing, interpreting, learning, trying to understand, building perspectives and views, making judgment on everyone and everything around.  “This clothe is not nice.”  “That girl is a good girl ” “That man is trustworthy.”  “That job is right job.” “Trump will surely lose”  etc etc.  So, what made us to decide good from bad, right from wrong? what are the basis of our prediction? Why our prediction fails? why we end up calling right as wrong and wrong as right? why we fail in judgment?

You see, our brain can be crazy and stupid, very threatening to our well being, if…IF we don’t know to figure out the biased thinking that our brain is prone to.  This systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations in an illogical fashion is called cognitive bias.

To put it in much simplest way.  We tend to define everything around us based on our perspective, our life experience, our exposure, our understanding, borrowed beliefs, and different influences and moods.  This is called subjective social reality.  Subjective isn’t necessarily objective.  Objective reality can be way different than being perceived.  This individual’s construction of social reality not through objective input but subjective, may dictate their decision-making and judgment in social world.  There happens the error.

This systemic error in decision making and judgment mainly due to,
1.  Social influences.
2.  Mental Shortcuts (heuristics)
3.  Limitation of brain’s capacity to process information
4.  Emotional and moral influences

is called Cognitive bias.

Though, there is nothing unnatural about being cognitively biased as in generally every human is biased cognitively, it’s possible to try not to be, it’s possible to not get trapped in own subjective reality, and it’s very important to try at best being cognitively unbiased to avoid poor decision-making and holding wrong opinions or passing wrong judgments.

Over the last six decades of research on human judgment and decision-making in cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioral economics, many types of cognitive biases are identified.  If one could judge and decide overcoming these biases, the person can be considered best decision maker.

As Buddha said, “See the world as it is and not the way you think it is or it should be or you want it to be.”  It’s same as psychologist saying “try not to be cognitively biased.”  

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What the fuzz!!!!!



Have you noticed this image as a profile pic in some of your FB friends?

Do you know what it is about?

Let’s keep the guessing more interesting.

1. Nepal exports quality lenses at cheapest price and is well reputed in global market?
2. Did you know Nepal is one of the best country for cataract treatment at most reasonable cost?
3. Did you know Nepal is one of the worst cataract-hit place on earth?

Irony isn’t it? We got best solution, and worst of the problem.

Breaking the irony is all the #whatthefuzzcampaign all about in an attempt to create cataract awareness among people, youths and old.

This campaign is initiated by Anthropose, a very noble business concept run by young entrepreneurs from Nepal, who are determined to fight the cataract on behalf of thousands of sufferers by funding cataract treatment for those in need, not through cliche donation but in an innovative business model by sharing earnings of their business.

We, Kaagmandu Magazine, is honored to be their media partner throughout this campaign.

Let’s together create awareness on cataract and help the needy.

We are prisoner in eye treatment. We can do this!

Such an elegantly-made video in creating cataract awareness and the campaign.

Please have a watch.

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