Essay On Martin Seligman's Theory Of Learned Helplessness

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Martin Seligman’s Theory Of Learned Helplessness Learned helplessness is a phenomenon occurred when a living thing learned to be helpless in a specific condition after a period of training or experience about the specific condition (Ciccarelli & White, 2012). In 1967, Martin Seligman first identified the term “learned helplessness”(Joyce, 2005). He and his colleagues grouped the dogs into three groups and put them into different condition (Kathrya, n.d.). At first, the dogs that were “inescapable shocked” which mean the dogs would not be able to escape although it was been electrical shocked. After a few shocked, the same group of dog was placed into another place that can be escape easily. They found out that the dogs would not try to escape or change their situation, although they have the chance to do it (Ciccarelli & White, 2012). Jorge Bucay, an Argentinian psychotherapist and writer shared this story in his book. He once went to a circus when he was small. He noticed an elephant was always remained tied down to a tiny stake with a chain held its leg in between the performance. The stake was actually a tiny piece of wood while the chain might be thick. As we all know, elephants are strong and powerful animals as elephants are capable to uproot a tree trunk easily. Although the chain was thick,…show more content…
Buchwald identified that there are three meaning of “learned helplessness” interchangeable by Seligman and colleagues. The first meaning of “helplessness” referred from the original dogs experiment done by Seligman. It means that exposure to inescapable shock resulted in subsequent failure to learn to avoid the escapable shock. The second meaning was referred to the cognitive and motivational deficits displayed by the animals themselves. The other meaning of the term “helplessness” was that the animal expectation that outcomes was independent of effort that was uncontrollable (Kathrya,

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