The motivational theory of role modeling: How role models influence role aspirants' goals

Morgenroth, Thekla, Ryan, Michelle K. and Peters, Kim (2015) The motivational theory of role modeling: How role models influence role aspirants' goals. Review of General Psychology, 19 4: 465-483. doi:10.1037/gpr0000059

Author Morgenroth, Thekla
Ryan, Michelle K.
Peters, Kim
Title The motivational theory of role modeling: How role models influence role aspirants' goals
Journal name Review of General Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1089-2680
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/gpr0000059
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Start page 465
End page 483
Total pages 19
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Subject 3200 Psychology
Abstract Role models are often suggested as a way of motivating individuals to set and achieve ambitious goals, especially for members of stigmatized groups in achievement settings. Yet, the literature on role models tends not to draw on the motivational literature to explain how role models may help role aspirants achieve these outcomes. In this paper, we introduce role aspirants and their motivational processes into an understanding of role modeling by drawing on expectancy–value theories of motivation to bring together the disparate literatures on role models to form a cohesive theoretical framework. We first integrate different definitions of role models into a new conceptualization where we propose that role models serve 3 distinct functions in which they influence goals and motivation: acting as behavioral models, representing the possible, and being inspirational. We then build a theoretical framework for understanding not only when, but also how, role models can effectively influence motivation and goals. This new theoretical framework, the Motivational Theory of Role Modeling, highlights ways in which the power of role models can be harnessed to increase role aspirants’ motivation, reinforce their existing goals, and facilitate their adoption of new goals.
Keyword Goals
Role modeling
Role models
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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