Vicarious Learning (Observational Learning)

psychpost | 4/25/2011 09:32:00 PM

"You can observe a lot by watching"
-Yogi Berra

I am feeling a bit swamped right now with working so I am lazy to write an actual full length post. Vicarious learning can be defined as a change in behavior due to the experience of observing a model (Paul Chance).

I pose this question to you: How much of our learning is based upon what we observe in others? What do you believe to be a more effective teacher: actual experience or watching others' experiences? Which is more practical?

There are no right or wring answers, I simply would love to see your insights and beliefs. I will try to reply to your responses as best I can!



68 responses to "Vicarious Learning (Observational Learning)"

  1. Im not sure, but I know i prefer to learn from others mistakes most of the time. But then agian, sometimes you have to make that mistake yourself. Lets say, putting your hand on the stove and getting your heart broken respectively.

  2. i learn more from visuals than text, more from people than visuals, and more by doing than from people.

  3. yes many things may be learned from simply observation. but experience makes the learning personal.

  4. Technically everything.

  5. so true!

  6. I love psychology.... definitely following


  7. this is a good question. i would say i learn about 70% from watching others. i could be different from others but thats just how i feel...usually watching someone do something makes me realize its possible and then i just have to put my mind to it and do it

  8. Actual experience is the best way of learning for me, but in instances where that includes situations that may have negative side effects, I'd rather see someone else do it :p
    ~~CoolFynder Blogger

  9. I think you learn more by experiencing the event. If you watch someone do something over and over , you don't learn the ability.

  10. learning should be an active process imho

  11. Thats's so true!

  12. good point of view my friend :)

  13. Everyone learns differently, and on different levels. Someone may learn more from observing than from anything else and vice versa.

  14. Craftsie is right, everyone is different, which is why a lot of children find school difficult because schools usually teach using very specific methods that may not suit everyone.

  15. Thought provoking stuff

  16. In most cases I learn more from other's experiences, as they can be repeated multiple times, without me getting discouraged.

  17. I believe you learn a whole lot from just watching others. Kinda like Bourdieu's habitus, a lot of the stuff we do seems "natural" to us but is really conditioned by our family and social class...

  18. I think you learn better doing yourself than watching other people do..

  19. i tend to learn from what i see, more so than how i am taught

  20. I guess it depends on the learner but also the task at hand

  21. Vicarious learning is a very powerful tool. Show someone how to do something while explaining it, and it is much easier for them to pick it up, too!

    Following and supporting!

    Yorkie Love

  22. well imitation is a really important psychological process that most individuals acquire while really young. it's one of the first ways to learn!

  23. I think we all learn a lot more from seeing than we do in any other way. How did we learn how to use a fork and knife? We saw our parents use them and everyone else around us.

  24. Seems pretty obvious.


  25. interesting post

  26. Observation is a big part of learning, but imitation is a more effective means.

  27. too true

  28. this is good, let us reason together

  29. I think we learn more by doing than watching - or at least we remember more of it.

  30. Love the photos that go with your blog!

  31. nice pictures!!

  32. Well for myself i learn more from experience, when i don't know how stuff works, i try to make it work or search for a way to work! Last resort is asking :D

  33. So true.

  34. i believe most of what we learn is from observing others i think this is how children learn good and bad traits from their parents

  35. Very true.....

  36. I believe moreso in living life yourself, I don't think you can learn anything a better way than doing it yourself.

  37. One of my favorite things is just people watching lol

  38. In my opinion, you need both kinds of experience...
    You can start by stealing things with your eyes from other people, but in the end you will need to put yourself to the test... :)

  39. Pretty interesting brother.

  40. experience is not unique, but a abstract value that we each have experianced

  41. i think nothing beats actual experience but learning from others is far more time efficient and practical

  42. both, it depends on your observation skills.

  43. Yogi Berra is hysterical.

  44. Very interesting. You obviously know your stuff

  45. Until it passes through your muscles, hands, mouth or what ever you cannot really properly learn anything.

    I DO LOVE the saying at the start! Wrote it down!

  46. Like 80% of what I learn comes from the mistakes of other people. I see what happens to them so I make sure not to do it.

  47. yea i agree

  48. This is very interesting, makes you think quite a bit~

  49. Watching others and doing it myself later succesfull fits for me usually :P ~

  50. vicarious learning i think is an important way to learn, although it is further accelerated by ones own experiences

  51. yogi berra is an interesting fella. im glad you know about his references. lol.

  52. Mad interesting.

  53. Really interesting blog, bro.

  54. wow, a blog that makes you think!
    love the format and and topics you post, nice move quoting a baseball player lol
    if you like metal music, come check out my blog - updated regularly, and if u comment and click, ill be sure to reciprocate ;)

  55. You can learn a lot of thing when observing the others.

  56. ohh this is cool yea :] thanks for lettin us know about it :]

  57. I'm also studying psychology, it's awesome; following :>

  58. all i do is watch and learn then i dominate

  59. It is my opinion that we obtain the vast majority of our knowledge from observing others - If you intend to mean from a physical point of view, yes by watching others we learn. By reading of others opinions we learn.

    Knowledge, even within the realms of innovation more often than not uses observations of others as a catalyst.

    Interesting post ... Awaiting more.

  60. I most certainly agree I am an observer

  61. interesting, Good to read you ! nice picture

  62. I observe a lot from others. Teaches me to be who I am.

  63. very interesting!

  64. interisteing and new to me

  65. I plan on sending this to my brother

  66. Very informative.

  67. I always felt that I was best at learning when I could watch

  68. Another fantastic post!

Post a Comment