The imitation of resistance to deviation: Conclusive evidence for an elusive effect

Kay Bussey*, David G. Perry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Argues that previous studies on the imitation of resistance to deviation have confounded exposure to a model who resists temptation with other variables that might influence children's response inhibition. The present experiment sought to clarify the results of previous studies by independently manipulating and assessing the effects of 3 variables hypothesized to influence children's resistance to temptation: (a) modeling of resistance to deviation, (b) modeling of a task that was incompatible with deviation, and (c) availability of this task to the S during test. Ss were 72 4th-grade boys. All 3 variables were found to make independent contributions to boys' resistance to deviation. It is concluded that the suggestion in the literature that models are ineffective as agents of inhibition is incorrect. Finally, there was evidence for the idea that when children avoid a prohibited activity because of exposure to a conforming model, they alter their attitude toward the prohibited activity to reflect their avoidance of it (i.e., they devalue the activity). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • resistance to deviation vs incompatible behavior modeling vs availability of deviation, resistance to temptation, 4th grade boys & peer models


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