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According to philosophers, the relationship between ethics and role modeling extends back to Aristotle, who said that the spirit of morality was awakened in an individual through the witness and conduct of a moral person. Social scientists bear this out, finding that the modeling process is a common means of observational learning and of transmitting values, attitudes, and behaviors. People learn much of what they know, not through direct experience but by observing the behavior and experiences of others. Thus, much learning, of behavior generally and ethical behavior more specifically, occurs in an anticipatory manner as individuals are informed about the benefits of the modeled (ethical) behavior and the costs of inappropriate behavior.

When an individual becomes a role model for others, she or he becomes ...

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