Learn more about Role model
This article is about a person who sets examples for others. For Eminem's song, see Role Model (song)
Role model refers to a person who fills his or her role as a good or bad example for others. A good example is a positive role model. A bad example is a negative role model. The term role model on its own is usually taken to mean a positive role model.
A positive role model carries out a role demonstrating values, ways of thinking and acting, which are considered good in that role. Others hopefully will follow the example. A woman professor can be seen as a role model for other women, on the strength of her furthering of the profile of women in academia. Alternatively, she could be seen as a role model for aspiring academics, regardless of their gender, on the strength of her academic achievements and/or dedication to her chosen discipline.
Parents can be positive role models helping their children learn adult ways or they can be negative role models. In dysfunctional families parents tend to be primarily negative role models.
This can be
- In Sociology the term does not necessarily imply a good example; see e.g. Observational learning.
- Morally: moral example (in ethics)
- At work: Model worker or Stakhanovite (in socialism)
The act of picking a role model consists of first evaluating what are ones own values (answering the question "what kind of things are important to me") then finding a person (usually a famous person) that exhibits a majority of those points and then emulating that person.