- Published: August 31, 2022
- Updated: August 31, 2022
- University / College: University of Colorado Boulder
- Language: English
- Downloads: 44
Learned Helplessness is a psychological term of human being’s unpleasant or mental state. The research work concerning learned helplessness has its base in the study of behaviorism. The initial definition of learned helplessness was built upon the experiments that included classical conditioning of animals. In particular, has been able to come up with various statements and definitions after many experiments. Under these experiments, the concept of learned helplessness has been defined as the state of failure or the state when emotionally a person feels unstable. The concept of learned helplessness has also been studied and explained as a mechanism for emotional trauma. Some of the good example can be academic failures that lead to learned helplessness. Also, another example is depression and class gap leading to despair. There has been an ongoing debate in understanding the definition of learned helplessness. Some of the researchers have also tried to research the concept of learned helplessness in the context of passivity that leads women to stay in violent relationship. In a summarized manner, it can also be stated that the concept of learned helplessness has been defined as the cause behind clinical depression because individuals tend to lose control over the severity of the situation.
Suggests, learned helplessness is a stage where the affected person feels unstable and weak and he criticize himself for his instability and failures. It was stated in the research that the feeling of learned helplessness is a common experience in the lives of people who are not able to attain positive behavior. The researchers also claimed that the state of learned helplessness is noticed differently in the varying situations. The measure of learned helplessness is likely to be different in the case of various individuals. At this point, Seligman was able to present the hypothesis that people with learned helplessness try to explain a situation in different manners. Such a statement is indicative of the theory entitled as attribution theory. Under the theory of attribution, individuals tend to relate to their experiences by terming a number of factors that would be anew in every situation. In simpler words, one situation may attribute to different factors or causes.
Another aspect of learned helplessness as evident from its definition is the concept of passivity. proved that some individuals tend to think in a very pessimistic manner. It is also noted that they consider their inabilities to be the permanent problem of their life. Anything that causes them emotional trauma will be given more adjuration. The research also indicated that people who think pessimistically, they tend to use phrases such as “ I am good for nothing” or “ It is my fault like always” etc. It is indicative of the fact that they would also believe themselves to be in the state of learned helplessness. Furthermore, increased study and research also provided important information concerning the other group of people that claim their negative experiences to be learning experiences. They believe that they will be able to bring betterment in their behavior after experiencing the negative experiences in life. Therefore, it can easily be noted that people who are not able to improve and make progress in their lives and for that they keep blaming their selves for being the only reason of their failures, are the ones who experience learned helplessness .
In similar manner, many other researches were conducted so far to understand the state of learned helplessness. However, there remained a major gap in the research work concerning the dimensions that could exactly prove the reason d’être behind learned helplessness. The three main dimensions included internal vs. external, specific vs. universal and temporary vs. permanent dimension . Weiner (1986) was able to discuss each dimension in an effective manner in his studies. The research by Weiner stated that the internal cause behind learned helplessness was that people believed that they will be in delusion no matter how hard they could have tried. The external factor behind learned helplessness is the semantic errors or noise that does not allow people to reflect in an optimum measure. The global dimension of learned helplessness is that it will occur with or without reason because the problem is likely to place for many reasons. In particular, the specific dimension of learned helplessness is that one may be able to relate to the problem with only one factor that would not be a reason behind any other problem. The last set of dimension is temporary vs. permanent that denotes that temporary factor behind learned helplessness because the explanation is likely to be changed in the future. Finally, the last dimension is permanent as the person with learned helplessness strongly believes that this problem is permanent and he will never recover. The aforementioned dimensions behind learned helplessness can be noted as effective example or explanation of learned helplessness among people when they are in difficult situations .
Many researchers have also studied the concept of learned helplessness in the context of academics. It is learned through the research conducted by that students tend to feel incapable and failed because they do not see any changing patterns in their academic results. Therefore, students are more likely to be in the state of learned helplessness. It is thus learned through many researches that teachers need to provide students with proper feedback so that they are able to think positively about their practice in the classroom. Research suggests, if an individual stays in the state of learned helplessness constantly then the results would be drastic for him in the future .
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