The Science of Smart: How To Choose A Role Model Who Will Really Motivate You

In last week’s post we talked about how “there are particular kinds of relationships that are especially good at evoking our intelligence.” The kind of relationship we’ll talk about this week is the role model relationship: the situation in which we look up to, and learn from, someone else’s example.

If a role model relationship is to help you think and act more intelligently, you’ll have to choose the right person to emulate—and as is so often the case, science has some surprising and counter-intuitive insights to contribute here. The right role model may not be the brightest light in your field, but rather someone more humanly flawed.


Chengwei Liu
Associate Professor of Strategy and Behavioural Science
Jerker Denrell
Professor of Behavioural Science