An examination of the unique experiences associated with positive, negative, and ambivalent role models

Rees, Heather (2015). An examination of the unique experiences associated with positive, negative, and ambivalent role models Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Rees, Heather
Thesis Title An examination of the unique experiences associated with positive, negative, and ambivalent role models
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Nik Steffens
Total pages 69
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
The present research investigated (a) the extent to which people differentiate between positive, negative, and ambivalent role models and if so (b) the way in which people experience the influence of each of these role models. Towards these aims, I examined individuals’ perceptions of role models and the unique psychological experiences associated with role models. Participants (N = 154) were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions in which they reflected on either a positive, negative, or ambivalent role model that they have had in their lives. Afterwards, they completed a social identity mapping exercise in which they indicated the role model’s relationship with the various social groups that they are members of before indicating the influence that their role model has had in a survey. Results indicated that when an individual perceived another person to have group membership overlap and to be prototypical of their groups, they were associated with perceiving this person more strongly as a positive or ambivalent role model. Moreover, compared to negative role models, positive and ambivalent role models were found to be more strongly associated with an individual’s experience of inspiration, engagement in exploratory behaviour and balanced thinking. However, compared to positive and ambivalent role models, negative role models were found to be more strongly associated with an individual’s experience of avoidance of undesired behaviours. In sum, the present thesis suggests that individuals are not only influenced by positive role models but that they can also learn from and be inspired in unique ways by role models that are negative or ambivalent.
Keyword Positive
Negative
Ambivalent
Role models

 
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Created: Thu, 31 Mar 2016, 09:03:57 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology