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Superstars are not necessarily role models: Morality perceptions moderate the impact of competence perceptions on supervisor role modeling

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European Journal of Social Psychology

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--- - |2 Abstract There is a general assumption that we choose role models from the ranks of those who have demonstrated extraordinary competence. However, the person perception literature supports the expectation that morality may also matter, and that we may be most likely to role model competent individuals if we also believe that they have good moral character. To test this possibility, we conducted four studies of adults’ role modeling of workplace supervisors. Study 1 (N = 245) and Study 2 (N = 110) showed that workplace supervisors’ perceived competence was most strongly associated with role model perceptions when the supervisor was also seen as moral. Study 3 (N = 492) and 4 (N = 335) replicated these findings with pre‐registered experiments, and revealed indirect effects of supervisor attributes on role modeling through emulation. Results suggest that we choose organizational role models who have achieved success in ways that are in line with our moral values. - European Journal of Social Psychology, Volume 48, Issue 6, Page 725-746, October 2018.