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While people of all ages may have role models, it is generally young people who are still developing their own identities who try so hard to emulate their role models.As one would suspect, social scientists continue to find the concept of role models fascinating.
There is great concern about what young people learn from those they idolize.
Public role models are often scrutinized and criticized because of the behavior they display in public.
As both Merton and Bandura would point out, they are a natural part of our environment.
It is generally with young people in mind that parents, teachers and other people discuss role models.
Negative role models, on the other hand, offer examples of harmful or disruptive behaviors.
Virtually anyone can be a role model, but in Western culture, publicly visible figures such as athletes, actors, musicians, and celebrities are the most common examples.
Try it risk-free In a popular legend, young George Washington once chopped down a rare and valuable cherry tree for reasons which were never fully explained.
When his father asked him what happened to the tree, he said, I cannot tell a lie. This story has been handed down for many years to show that Washington was honest to a fault, and in this way he has acted as a role model for all of us.
Bandura found that individuals tend to be active observers of their environments.
During these observations, people make note of the behaviors exhibited by others and imitate them.