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NCJ Number: 52169 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: GENERALITY OF LEARNED HELPLESSNESS IN MAN
Journal: JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:(1975)  Pages:311-327
Author(s): D S HIROTO; M E P SELIGMAN
Corporate Author: American Psychological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: American Psychological Assoc
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Brentwood Veterans Admin Medical
Los Angeles, CA 90073
US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Rockville, MD 20857
Grant Number: MH53982; MH19604
Sale Source: Brentwood Veterans Admin Medical
Wilshire and Sowtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90073
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE GENERALITY OF LEARNED HELPLESSNESS--THE INTERFERENCE WITH RESPONSE SUBSEQUENT TO EXPOSURE TO INESCAPABLE AVERSIVE EVENTS--IS TESTED IN FOUR EXPERIMENTS WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS.
Abstract: LEARNED HELPLESSNESS HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN EXPERIMENTS WITH BOTH HUMAN AND ANIMAL SUBJECTS. SUBJECTS EXPOSED TO AND NOT ALLOWED TO ESCAPE FROM AN UNPLEASANT STIMULUS (ELECTRIC SHOCK IN THE ANIMAL STUDY, NOISE IN THE HUMAN STUDY) LATER DID NOT ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE FROM THAT STIMULUS. IT HAS BEEN HYPOTHESIZED THAT, WHEN A STIMULUS IS INESCAPABLE, ORGANISMS LEARN THAT RESPONDING AND REINFORCEMENT ARE INDEPENDENT. THIS LEARNING UNDERMINES THE MOTIVATION TO RESPOND TO THE STIMULUS. TO TEST THE GENERALITY OF THE DEBILITATION PRODUCED BY UNCONTROLLABLE EVENTS ACROSS TASKS AND MOTIVATIONAL SYSTEMS, FOUR EXPERIMENTS WERE CONDUCTED SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS AS SUBJECTS: (1) PRETREATMENT WITH INESCAPABLE, ESCAPABLE, OR CONTROL AVERSIVE NOISE FOLLOWED BY ESCAPE TESTING ; (2) PRETREATMENT WITH INSOLUBLE, SOLUBLE, OR CONTROL COGNITIVE PROBLEMS FOLLOWED BY ANAGRAM SOLUTION TESTING; (3) PRETREATMENT WITH THE NOISE CONDITIONS FOLLOWED BY ANAGRAM SOLUTION TESTING; AND (4) PRETREATMENT WITH THE PROBLEM CONDITIONS FOLLOWED BY ESCAPE TESTING. LEARNED HELPLESSNESS WAS FOUND IN ALL FOUR EXPERIMENTS. BOTH INSOLUBILITY AND INESCAPABILITY PRODUCED FAILURE TO ESCAPE AND FAILURE TO SOLVE ANAGRAMS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT INESCAPABILITY AND INSOLUBILITY BOTH ENGENDER THE EXPECTANCY THAT RESPONDING IS INDEPENDENT OF REINFORCEMENT, AND THAT THE GENERALITY OF THIS PROCESS INDICATES THAT LEARNED HELPLESSNESS MAY BE AN INDUCED TRAIT. SUPPORTING DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Individual behavior; Inmates; Psychological research
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52169

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