Likeable Vs. Lucky Role Models

The stereotype-busting effect of a role model only occurs if their success is perceived as due to their own innate ability and effort. That power is lost if they are seen to have just been lucky.

A study by Cheryl Taylor and colleagues shows that the stereotype-busting effect of a role-model only occurs if their success is seen as due to innate ability and effort, not mere luck. Taylor's team call this the Hillary Clinton effect. ...Taylor and her colleagues said the stereotype-busting effects of role-models could be enhanced and preserved by ensuring people are aware of the stable and internal causes of the role-models' successes. Future research may consider if a role model's perceived 'likeability' could be the key factor explaining their protective value, rather than the deservingness of their success.

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