The Empirical and Theoretical Basis of Human Learned Helplessness
What happens when an organism is exposed to uncontrollable outcomes? Will it persevere in trying to control the outcome, or will it give up? Will this experience have an impact on the organism’s functioning in subsequent tasks and situations? Dealing with these questions, Overmaier and Seligman (1967) and Seligman and Maier (1967) exposed dogs to inescapable shocks and found that the animals apparently gave up trying and passively succumbed to the shock. These behaviors, which reflect the interference produced by uncontrollable outcomes on adaptive responses, have been labeled learned helplessness (LH).
KeywordsCoping Strategy Coping Action Shock Termination Learn Helplessness Inescapable Shock
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