Vicarious Reinforcement and Vicarious Punishment (Including Practical Examples)
What is Vicarious Reinforcement
Vicarious reinforcement is a type of behavior modification in which a person’s response is strengthened by observing another’s success or reinforcement.
It is when a person is rewarded for the behavior of another. The process by which an individual learns from observing and modeling the behaviors of others.
Vicarious reinforcement is a learning theory that suggests that when an individual sees another individual receive rewards, they also receive an increase in the same reward type. The concept was first introduced by Skinner and Ferster in 1957.
Vicarious Reinforcement Examples
When a person is rewarded for doing the same thing that they see another person get rewarded for, this is vicarious reinforcement—a person who is rewarded for doing something by seeing the reward given to someone else.
For example, if you see your boss getting praised by her employees and then you also praise her when she walks into the room, this would be an example of vicarious reinforcement.
Vicarious punishment occurs when a person avoids the behavior of someone who has been punished for that behavior. The tendency to engage in the behavior is decreased after the negative consequences have been experienced by others who engaged in that behavior.
This is a type of observational learning as defined in the theory of social learning.
Punishment can take many different forms, such as imprisonment, fines, or corporal punishment. There are two types of vicarious punishments: retributive and utilitarian.
The social and legal theory that people will be deterred from committing crimes if they know that punishment will affect them and those close to them.
Vicarious Punishment Examples
The wrongdoer may be punished in order to deter others from committing similar acts. Examples of vicarious punishment include:
- Gossiping about someone’s misdeeds, shaming them on social media, or making their wrongdoing public knowledge.
Difference Between Vicarious Reinforcement and Vicarious Punishment
Vicarious reinforcement and vicarious punishment are two concepts that Skinner and Ferster developed. They were both concerned with finding out how an individual learns from observing the consequences of a different person’s behavior, either rewarded or punished. The two terms have been used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing.
The vicarious reinforcement concept is identical to that of vicarious punishment—the difference between the two lies in how they are achieved and their effects on behavior.
Like their sister concepts, both refer to the idea that an individual will gain or lose a certain trait based on observing another individual’s actions occurring around them.
Both reinforcement and punishment affect the behavior of a person. They may be positive or negative, but they both change a certain behavior in some way.
Reinforcement is when someone gains something from doing something while punishment is taking away something due to their action; this could be privileges or money, among other things.
Vicarious punishment is conceptually similar to vicarious reinforcement but includes negative instead of positive outcomes.
Vicarious experience is a phenomenon of studying others and experiencing what they do. If we watch others in pain to some degree, we sense their experience. As human beings, we are social creatures, and most cultivate the capacity to empathize with others.
Examples of Vicarious Experience
It is about experience something through the senses of another person. Some examples of Vicarious experience ;
- Hearing a song that reminds you of your first love.
- Seeing someone else’s vacation photos and feeling jealous.
- Reading a book about the Holocaust and being moved to tears.
- another example is to feel what it is like to be a different race or gender than one’s own or to imagine oneself in someone else’s shoes
What is Vicarious learning?
Vicarious learning is a type of learning in which we learn by observing the actions of others. The term vicarious comes from the Latin word vicarius, which means “substitute” or “deputy” and originated in 1848 when describing a person who acts or speaks for another.
In psychology, the term has been used since 1913 to explain how people learn through observation.
Vicarious learning is a type of learning which happens by observing and interacting with another person. It is a conscious process that involves sensing, feeling, and empathizing with what people are doing and taking notes, and evaluating.
Rather than direct, hands-on instructions, vicarious learning is derived from indirect sources such as hearing and seeing.
As per Wikipedia, ‘Vicarious reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior via positively-reinforced consequences that occurs when one observes the same consequence in another person’s behavior.’
Vicarious Learning Example
The most common form of vicarious learning is when one person learns from another by observing their actions and behaviors. This can be done through observation, imitation, or modeling.
Vicarious Learning Example in Workplace
Many different types of vicarious learning occur in the workplace, including;
- Observing a colleague’s work habits to get ideas for your own work.
- Learning about how to perform certain tasks from coworkers who have experience doing so.
- Vicarious learning also occurs in organizations where employees learn new skills from each other.
Characteristics of Vicarious Learning
Vicarious learning is the process of learning by observing and modeling another person’s behavior. It is the process of observing and imitating someone else’s actions to learn a skill or concept.
The observer typically learns more quickly than if they had learned through trial-and-error or other forms of direct experience. This form of learning can help teach a skill to someone who does not have the opportunity to learn it themselves, such as when an expert teaches a child how to swim.
The learner does not need to be physically present for vicarious learning to occur, as long as they can observe the person performing the task.
This type of learning can happen through observation, imitation, or modeling.
It has been shown that others who are observed by others while performing a task will perform better than those who were not watched.
What is Vicarious Conditioning
A psychological phenomenon in which a person changes their own behaviors, emotions, or attitudes based on the thought of what another person would think about them doing that.
Examples of Vicarious Conditioning
- When a person sees another person or animal being punished, they may feel pain as well.
- A child who has been abused by their parents abuse may grow up to abuse their own children in the future.
- People are more likely to buy products that have been endorsed by someone they know.
- When a person is in pain, the other people around them will often feel pain as well.
- People who are exposed to violence on television or in movies can experience changes in their mood and behavior.
- A child who sees his parent being punished may be more likely to act out himself.
Observational Learning Vs. Vicarious conditioning
Observational Learning is the method of learning to act or behave in a specific way by studying others who are considered models. Observational learning is often referred to as “vicarious conditioning” because it involves learning by watching others receive classical or operating conditioning responses.
Both Observational Learning and Vicarious conditioning refer to another person having the experience, and you may learn from that.
Vicarious usually refers to a person telling you about an event or your witnessing or even reading about that event, relating to the situation, and then thinking and/or feeling like the main character in that event.
Observational learning is more clinical and objective and relies on your direct observation of an event with the purpose of learning from the outcome of the observation. Similar – but not exactly the same.