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The Power of Example


Last updated 1/10/2021 at 11:37am

Wade B. Jakeway

A famous photo, featured in psychology textbooks, shows a lineup of infant ducklings following a baby elephant around a barnyard. The phenomenon is called "imprinting" – the tendency in fowls, within hours of being hatched, to follow the first moving object and regard it as their mother.

Scientists have long attempted to determine to what extent the imprinting principle can be extraplated to the experience of human beings. It is widely felt, for instance, that adolescence is a special hero-worship period and also a stage of life when the individual is peculiarly susceptible to peer pressu...

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