Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control
Publisher: Oxford University Press, U.S.A.
ISBN 10: 0195044673
ISBN 13: 978-0195044676
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0195044665
ISBN 13: 978-0195044669
When experience with uncontrollable events gives rise to the expectation that events in the future will also elude control, disruptions in motivation, emotion, and learning may ensue. "Learned helplessness" refers to the problems that arise in the wake of uncontrollability. First described in the 1960s among laboratory animals, learned helplessness has since been applied to a variety of human problems entailing inappropriate passivity and demoralization. While learned helplessness is best known as an explanation of depression, studies with both people and animals have mapped out the cognitive and biological aspects. The present volume, written by some of the most widely recognized leaders in the field, summarizes and integrates the theory, research, and application of learned helplessness. Each line of work is evaluated critically in terms of what is and is not known, and future directions are sketched. More generally, psychiatrists and psychologists in various specialties will be interested in the book's argument that a theory emphasizing personal control is of particular interest in the here and now, as individuality and control are such salient cultural topics.
"The applications of the theory [of learned helplessness] to current issues (including depression, academic achievement, and physical well-being) are exciting, thought-provoking, and highly relevant." --Readings: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health
About the Author
Christopher Petersen is at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Steven F. Maier is at University of Colorado.