Role Modeling

“Our children are our mirrors.”

“Like father, like son.”

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

These sayings may seem like common sense, but we often don’t pay attention to what extent parents influence their children. According to social learning theory posits by Bandura (1977), individuals learn through social context, such as observation and direct instruction. That is, children learn to ‘model’ or emulate the behaviors, attitudes and skills of others. Typically, parents and those models that are most influential are labeled as “role models”.

Role models and parental influences have been shown to be extremely important in terms of the development of aggressive behavior, materialism, and achievement attitude.

Here are some classic psychology and social experiments that highlight the aspects of parents as role models: