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NCJ Number: 52167 Find in a Library
Title: LOCUS OF CONTROL AND LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
Journal: JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:102  Issue:2  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1974)  Pages:187-193
Author(s): D S HIROTO
Corporate Author: American Psychological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Brentwood Veterans Admin Medical
Los Angeles, CA 90073
Sale Source: Brentwood Veterans Admin Medical
Wilshire and Sowtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90073
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEARNED HELPLESSNESS AND LOCUS OF CONTROL IS EXPLORED IN A BEHAVIORAL EXPERIMENT INVOLVING 96 COLLEGE STUDENTS AS SUBJECTS.
Abstract: IN AN EARLIER EXPERIMENT WITH DOGS, ANIMALS SUBJECTED TO AND NOT ALLOWED TO ESCAPE FROM AN ELECTRIC SHOCK FAILED TO ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE FROM SHOCK LATER, BECAUSE THEY HAD LEARNED THAT SHOCK TERMINATION WAS INDEPENDENT OF THEIR RESPONSE. IT WAS HYPOTHESIZED THAT THE INCENTIVE FOR INITIATING RESPONSES HAD BEEN LOWERED IN THE ANIMALS, AND THAT THEIR ABILITY TO ASSOCIATE RESPONDING AND SHOCK HAD BEEN IMPAIRED. LEARNED HELPLESSNESS WAS THE LABEL ASSIGNED BOTH TO THE PHENOMENON AND TO ITS HYPOTHESIZED EXPLANATION. LOCUS OF CONTROL IS A SOCIAL-LEARNING CONSTRUCT HAVING TO DO WITH A PERSON'S PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE SOURCE OF REINFORCEMENTS. INTERNALS PERCEIVE REINFORCEMENTS AS CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR OWN RESPONSES AND ATTRIBUTE REINFORCEMENT CONTINGENCIES TO THEIR OWN SKILLS AND ABILITIES. EXTERNALS PERCEIVE REINFORCEMENTS AS INDEPENDENT OF THEIR BEHAVIOR, ATTRIBUTING OUTCOMES TO LUCK, CHANCE, OR ANOTHER PERSON. THREE GROUPS OF SUBJECTS, EACH CONTAINING EQUAL NUMBERS OF INTERNALS AND EXTERNALS AND ALL COUNTERBALANCED FOR SEX, RECEIVED DIFFERENT TREATMENTS INVOLVING EXPOSURE TO A DISTURBINGLY LOUD NOISE PRIOR TO TESTING FOR HELPLESSNESS. THE FIRST GROUP COULD NOT ESCAPE THE NOISE, THE SECOND GROUP COULD ESCAPE THE NOISE, AND THE THIRD GROUP WAS NOT EXPOSED TO THE NOISE. EIGHTEEN ESCAPE-AVOIDANCE TRIALS, PARALLELING THE ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS, FOLLOWED. IN THESE TRIALS, SUBJECTS WERE TOLD EITHER THAT THEY COULD CONTROL THE DISTURBING NOISE (SKILL SET) OR THAT CONTROL WAS OUT OF THEIR HANDS (CHANCE SET). THE FINDINGS OF THE ANIMAL STUDY WERE REPLICATED WITH THE HUMAN SUBJECTS. IN ADDITION, EXTERNALS WERE SIGNIFICANTLY MORE HELPLESS THAN INTERNALS, AND CHANCE-SET SUBJECTS WERE MOE HELPLESS THAN SKILL-SET SUBJECTS. SINCE UNCONTROLLABILITY OF NOISE, EXTERNALITY OF LOCUS OF CONTROL, AND CHANCE INSTRUCTIONAL SET ALL IMPAIRED ESCAPE AVOIDANCE IN THE SUBJECTS IN PARALLEL WAYS, IT IS SPECULATED THAT A COMMON STATE--EXPECTANCY THAT RESPONDING AND REINFORCEMENT ARE INDEPENDENT--MAY UNDERLIE ALL THREE DIMENSIONS. SUPPORTING DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Individual behavior; Psychological research
Note: BASED ON DOCTORAL DISSERTATION - UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52167

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