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Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation

Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation,10.1037/0021-843X.87.1.49,Journal of Abnormal Psychology,Lyn Y. Abramson,Martin E. Seligman

Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation   (Citations: 1691)
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Criticizes and reformulates the learned helplessness hypothesis. It is considered that the old hypothesis, when applied to learned helplessness in humans, has 2 major problems: (a) It does not distinguish between cases in which outcomes are uncontrollable for all people and cases in which they are uncontrollable only for some people (universal vs personal helplessness), and (b) it does not explain when helplessness is general and when specific, or when chronic and when acute. A reformulation based on a revision of attribution theory is proposed to resolve these inadequacies. According to the reformulation, once people perceive noncontingency, they attribute their helplessness to a cause. This cause can be stable or unstable, global or specific, and internal or external. The attribution chosen influences whether expectation of future helplessness will be chronic or acute, broad or narrow, and whether helplessness will lower self-esteem or not. The implications of this reformulation of human helplessness for the learned helplessness model of depression are outlined. (92 ref)
Journal: Journal of Abnormal Psychology - J ABNORMAL PSYCHOL , vol. 87, no. 1, pp. 49-74, 1978
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    • ...Fortier, Vallerand, and Guay (1995) argue that this construct is most similar to ’learned helplessness’ (Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale 1978) as these behaviours are purportedly not controlled by the person and therefore non-regulated and non-intentional...

    Kenneth J. Smithet al. An empirical analysis of an alternative configuration of the Academic ...

    • ...The three cognitive styles hypothesized to place individuals at risk of developing hopelessness depression (Abramson et al, 1989) are inferential style about the causes of life events (ie, attributional style; Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978), inferential style about consequences—the tendency to expect negative events to have terrible consequences, and inferential style about the self—the tendency to view the self as flawed and deficient after a negative event has occurred (Abela, 2001)...

    Judy Garberet al. Translating Basic Psychopathology Research to Preventive Interventions...

    • ...As proposed by Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale (1978), the helplessness model conceptualises cognitive vulnerability as one's tendency to make particular attributions for life events...

    Laura C. Reillyet al. Cognitive vulnerability to depression: A comparison of the weakest lin...

    • ...On the other hand, attributions made to internal, stable and uncontrollable causes after failure, such as lack of ability, might over time, lead to negative future expectancies and ‘learned helplessness’ because the individual perceives that he or she has little control over the cause of his or her unsuccessful behaviour (Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978; Dweck, 2006; Maier & Seligman, 1976)...

    Frode Moenet al. The effect from external executive coaching

    • ...What affect theory refers to as the “despondency” of self-defeating behavior to avoid the impact of shame or guilt (Budden, 2009; Hoblitzelle, 1987; Lindsay-Hartz, Stillwell, & Heatherton, 1995; Tomkins, 2008), other theorists have conceptualized as learned helplessness (Abramson, Seligman, and Teasdale, 1978) or diminished personal mastery (Pearlin, Lieberman, Menaghan, & Mullan, 1981; Seeman, 1991)...

    Darrell C. Greeneet al. Stage of Sexual Minority Identity Formation: The Impact of Shame, Inte...

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