The Psychology of Imitation

I usually say that we are what we see, hear and touch in this way the imitation. It seems to me that what we often call innovation includes a large amount of imitation. Attitudes of Imitation may create sweeping waves in behaviors in order of generating homogeneity in the population. If we do a brief historical and epistemological research we easily conclude that to have a successful business, imitation can be more important and relevant than innovation. Therefore, imitation should be considered as a social learning and/or an intelligent search for cause-and-effect knowledge of a constructive process. In this way, when we observe and contemplate we tend to replicate directly or indirectly what we see somehow (not necessarily instantly). This almost inherent attitude not only happens with human beings, but also with most of the animals. In order to achieve a good imitation we need two fuels:

  • Imagination
  • Intelligence

So the science of research is based on actively seeking ideas, save time, costs and come up with something better in every way. In fact, imitation is not just a way of learning but also like a form of energy or if I can use the word epidemic in the way as it expands in a community or social group. I’d like to add that similar ideas (called adventitious idea) can be developed in isolation, bearing in mind that in any case whatever the final result he or she comes out with will be some how the replica personalized of another’s behavior. It can also be the result of Self-identification with another person or object. In fact it is also possible just a fragmentary or selective imitation, as long as there is a completely passive behavior, insofar as there is some choice of who to imitate. Imitation on its own doesn’t mean competitive advantage, so to avoid unbalanced dedication companies should combine imitation and creativity to come up with something perhaps new. I strongly believe that the strategic innovation can be a successor state of imitation. It’s definitely a good way to save time and attention in the decisions-making because it is a strategy of very low cost especially in difficult task. Innovation is rare these days which this make it so special and unique that when something is considered as innovation is immediately placed in a supreme level I mean in this way being compared with the status of a God.

What is innovation?

“The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need.” – Over The Years by: Sudip Bhattacharyya

What is imitation?

The conscious or unconscious behavior of copying others. It involves two (an imitator and an imitated entity) or more subjects. “In psychology, the reproduction or performance of an act that is stimulated by the perception of a similar act by another animal or person. Essentially, it involves a model to which the attention and response of the imitator are directed.” – Encyclopedia Britannica

  • Rational imitation
  • Imitation in language
  • Innovative imitation

Imagine watching a video in which you instantly recognize that another person is copying your words, facial expressions of any situation. This can be some how uncomfortable, flattering or even just annoying – not referring to the situation of feeling that someone is stealing your identity. Thinking in a positive way we must not forget that behind a great innovator there always be a brilliant imitator just like the old adage says: Behind a great man you will always find a great woman. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the World” – Harriet Tubman