Vicarious Learning

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The Four Types of Vicarious Learning

There are four separate types of vicarious learning. These are worth knowing, because they enable you can expect learners to change their behaviour as a result of observing someone else experience the principles described throughout this chapter. These four types of vicarious learning are summarized in Table 12.1.

The Modeling Effect occurs when a person almost directly duplicates a behavior he has seen someone else perform and which the observer has not previously suppressed. The observer displays new behaviors that prior to the modeling had a zero probability of occurring. For example, my son bats the way he does because Barry Larkin is successful with that batting stance.

The Eliciting Effect occurs when the observer performs a behavior to the model's, but still somewhat different. For example, if I hear that a famous celebrity has donated $50,000 to charity, I would be demonstrating the Eliciting Effect if this generosity prompted me to volunteer to umpire Little League basebal games.

The Disinhibitory Effect occurs when a person who has previously refrained from a behavior goes ahead and performs that behavior after seeing a model perform the behavior without receiving any negative consequences. For example, if I already knew how to speed in my automobile but refrained from doing so out of fear of a speeding ticket, I could demonstrate the Disinhibitory Effect by driving more quickly after several cars passed me on the expressway with no apparent negative consequences.

The Inhibitory Effect occurs when a person refrains from a behavior after seeing a model punished for engaging in that behavior. For example, I once stopped asking questions in a high school class after I saw several students receive assignments to write reports on...
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