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Glossary

Labelling theory

In SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, this is a way of explaining deviant BEHAVIOUR by focusing on the reactions of other people to the person they label deviant. When combined with SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY, labelling theory has also been used to account for psychotic behaviour. Thus, if a person is labelled PARANOID, everything they do is interpreted in the light of the paranoia and invariably taken as evidence for the correctness of the original diagnosis.

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