Sociology Index


Modeling is form of learning that occurs as a result of watching and imitating others.

Sibling Thumb Sucking - "Modeling effect on the younger sibling"
Effects of Treatment for Targeted and Untargeted Siblings 
In this study, removal of a transitional object (pillow)was applied as the sole intervention for one of two siblings who sucked their thumbs. The intervention was applied only to the older sibling, whereas data were collected on the thumb sucking of both participants.

Results indicated that removal of the transitional object for the older sibling reduced thumb sucking in both siblings and increased thumb sucking when the pillow was reintroduced. Discussion focuses on possible explanations for the effects of the intervention across both participants and the limitations of this study. - T. Steuart Watson, Caroline Meeks, Brad Dufrene, Cathy Lindsay, Mississippi State University - Behavior Modification, Vol. 26, No. 3, 412-423 (2002).

Changing Behavior in Task Groups Through Social Learning: Modeling Alternatives 
Gordon A. Walter, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia - Human Relations, Vol. 29, No. 2, 167-178 (1976)
This study explores the relative effects of "acted" and "natural" social models upon the behaviors of members of problem-solving groups. Major differences between model group behaviors were identified by 62 judges. A "pretest-posttest control group" experimental design was used to examine the behavioral effects of modeling for 72 subjects, which was measured using a behavioral coding technique developed by Hoffman and Maier. The central finding in this experimental effort was that "acted" models were more effective in promoting behavior change than were "natural" models.

Precursors of Individual Change: Responses to a Social Learning Theory Based on Organizational Intervention - Jerry I. Porras, Kenneth Hargis, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University - Human Relations, Vol. 35, No. 11, 973-990 (1982)
This research investigated the role of 12 personal characteristics as they predisposed 33 first-line supervisors to change their interactions with employees in accordance with a behavioral modeling training program. Questionnaires were administered to groups of trained and control supervisors both before and after a 10-week training period. These instruments measured perceptions of behavioral change as well as a variety of personal characteristics including self-actualization, regard for others and the self, role clarity, role ambiguity, role conflict, stress, control, competence, education level, job tenure, and company tenure. Eight of these twelve characteristics proved significantly predictive of change for trained supervisors while none were predictive for control supervisors. The pattern of predictive characteristics indicated that feelings of well-being may be more conducive to acceptance of organizational training programs than feelings of need.