Learned helplessness Theory : Can it be fixed…

When awful matters manifest, we like to believe that we’d do whatever important to change the situation . Studies on what is called learned helplessness has proven that when human beings sense like they don’t have any control over what happens, they tend to genuinely give up and be given their destiny.

What is Learned Helplessness ?

Starting and maintaining a brand new ideas (like my blog) comes with many setbacks. Failure is inevitable. How we cope with this failure can circumstance us for how we method our future dreams. It’s a feedback cycle that may sometimes move wrong if now not tested cautiously. Especially, experiencing failure can reason the mental response referred to learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness is a mental condition wherein a person who is compelled to bear repeated damaging situations, turns into not able or unwilling to avoid these conditions.

This occurs because beyond reviews have made them consider they don’t have the ability to avoid them. Basically, they’ve educated themselves (and their mind) to believe they haven’t any manipulate over the state of affairs, and so they don’t even try.

Filling our minds with restricting beliefs of what we’re capable of obtain is dangerous. It generates a cycle of self-defeatist wondering. And whilst stuck in the middle of this cycle, your motivation and ordinary productivity will necessarily start to go through.

Why is it that important?

The mental phenomenon of learned helplessness is that, magnified: it is the tendency if you want to stop looking for paintings after a handful of failed interviews, the way you may give up on starting an exercising ordinary due to the fact you’ve hurt your back one time too many, or the preference to live in on voting day due to the fact past elections have taught you your vote doesn’t rely. In the extreme, it is why people don’t depart their abusers and why prisoners do not try to break out.

American psychologist Martin Seligman initiated research on found out helplessness in 1967 on the University of Pennsylvania as an extension of his hobby in depression.This research was later increased through experiments by means of Seligman and others. One of the first became an experiment through Seligman & Maier:

Which is, the manner that you may train dogs to accomplice a bell with food in order that they start to drool just at the sound of that bell. Except in this example, the examine focused on the alternative:

When dogs discovered to partner a tone with an electric shock, could they jump out of the manner simply at the sound of the tone? It turns out that yes, they could—maximum of them. However Seligman noticed some thing strange. When some puppies got a new electric shock, they just stood there. They failed to try to keep away from it. Their inability to prevent the surprise early on in the test had taught them there has been no point in even trying.

Seligman referred to as this tendency Learned helplessness, and it turned into on the center of many studies projects to observe. He found that the phenomenon applied in lots of distinctive situations and subjects, and once it set in, it turned into difficult to reverse—one have a look at discovered that dogs nonetheless made no circulate to avoid an electric shock even a week later.

From those experiments, it changed into concept that there was to be handiest one remedy for helplessness.

Impact of learned helplessness on people

The impact of learned helplessness has been verified in distinctive animal species, but its effects also can be visible in human beings.

Learned helplessness has additionally been related to numerous different psychological issues. Depression, anxiety, phobias, shyness, and loneliness can all be exacerbated by learned helplessness.

Researchers have observed, however, that found out helplessness does not continually generalize across all settings and situations.Many researchers believe that attribution or explanatory patterns play a role in determining how people are impacted by using learned helplessness.

This view suggests that an individual’s characteristic style of explaining activities allows determine whether or not they’ll increase learned helplessness. A pessimistic explanatory style is related to a greater likelihood of experiencing learned helplessness. People with this explanatory style tend to view negative as being inescapable and unavoidable and have a tendency to take private obligation for such negative activities.

What can we do to overcome learned helplessness?


After Seligman’s experiment with the dogs . He got down to decide how, if at all, topics could discover ways to opposite this tendency.

He found that a small tweak may want to substantially alternate how subjects reply to a horrific situation: within the aforementioned take a look at, if dogs had their first shocks in a scenario where they may break out, even supposing they had been trapped for subsequent shocks, they made a substantially more attempt to avoid all future shocks.

Seligman theorized that the ones first studies taught them that now not all shocks had been identical—that is, a few conditions are much less hopeless than others. He also discovered that this is applicable to humans: the manner we interpret awful situations has a massive effect on our despair chance.

If you think that awful things will keep taking place and you’re usually to blame, you’re greater liable to depression; if you assume your awful situation will go away quickly and that it wasn’t your fault, you have a tendency to have a higher outlook on existence ordinary.


20 replies to Learned helplessness Theory : Can it be fixed…

  1. Love this post because it’s something I have never thought about in this way.

  2. Great article. I believe that overcoming anything is possible with faith and perseverance. It’s about knowing that every day whether it’s a good day or a bad day is still a day closer to the win.

  3. Quite informative… Learned helplessness can lead to depression if not cure at right point of time.

  4. Good and bad days are inevitable but our ability to channel our energy to the part that gives us more productivity is something that differentiate us from the rest. Great article, I know a lot of people this will be of help to.

  5. Such an important topic to discuss. So many people are struggling yet don’t want to discuss it out of shame. Thank you for writing about it!

    • Thanks it means a lot to me

  6. Learned helplessness is such an important psychological concept. I think about it often with my students who often give up without trying or who are used to having others do things for them.

  7. I really enjoed this one! Really great point of view…

  8. What a wonderful posting, I had never thought about. Fantastic

  9. Understanding learned helplessness is truly important, especially to counteract its affects. The 1st step to recover is indeed awarenessz thanks for this information. 👍🏼

    • I really means a lot to me.

  10. This is a very informative post. Mostly because we understand depression better than learned helplessness which is an early symptom.

  11. This is a great post that enables me to look out for the early signs. Thanks for sharing.

  12. At some point a lot of us suffer from learned helplessness. This blog was educating. Thank you.

  13. Nice to know about Learned Helplessness. IT’S really a great post. Thanks for sharing!!!

  14. The part about how we interpret awful situations, our cognitions, having an impact on our general outlook and determining our chances of escaping learned helplessness is instructive.

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