What is it about?

This article aims to differentiate the psychological model of the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ by defining its basic narrative structure and identifying various formal realisations of the structure throughout the history of literature.

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Why is it important?

The ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ has become an influential concept in contemporary behavioural psychology and economics. It has not yet been systematically introduced to literary studies, however, even though prophecies count among the long-lasting motifs of Western literature.


The article reflects more generally on the possibilities and challenges of a dialogue between social psychology and literary studies.

Nicolas Detering

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This page is a summary of: Vermeintlich unvermeidlich: Poetik und Psychologie der Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, POETICA, July 2023, Brill Deutschland GmbH,
DOI: 10.30965/25890530-05412006.
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