Advantages and Disadvantages of Solving a Problem Through Trial and Error 


E.L. Thorndike propounded the theory of trial and error. He believes that behavior is the result of a response to a stimulus. According to him, learning is associated with responses, impressions, and a sense of action. Thorndike’s views are often referred to as connectionism as it believes in the connection of stimulus and response. Thorndike referred to it as connecting and selecting or trial and error theory since learning results from repetition. Thorndike proposed three laws of learning namely, the law of readiness, the law of effect, and the law of exercise.


The disadvantages of solving a problem through the trial and error method are as follows:

Creative Approach

Trial and error is considered to be a creative approach for solving tasks because it makes individuals use both the right and left hemispheres of their brain.

Less Time Consuming

The trial and method consume less time to solve tasks that do not have a great depth of difficulty.

Division of Tasks

The trial and error method involves the division of tasks which makes it possible for individuals to search for a quick solution.

Allows one to Learn

It is not possible to get everything right on the first try due to trial and error is a good method to encourage learning.

Mistakes are Allowed

In the trial and error theory, mistakes are a part of learning. When people make errors, they can reflect on them and make changes to get better.


The disadvantages of solving a problem through the trial and error method are as follows:

Consumes a Lot of Energy

The trial and error method can be a bit energy-consuming since it uses a lot of energy due to which it can limit the quantity of learning.

Emphasizes Rote Learning

The theory includes the use of repetition and therefore, encourages rote learning.

Ineffective for Bright Learners

Learners who do not focus on rote memorization and learn things quickly may find this method ineffective.

Ineffective for Higher Classes

The theory fails to provide adequate guidance for learners belonging to higher classes. 

Losing Popularity

The trial and error method has been losing popularity in the modern age due to which its use might not be relevant in the future.


The trial and error method has various benefits for solving tasks but there are certain limitations that impact its prevalence.

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