Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control

Learned Helplessness: A Theory for the Age of Personal Control

Paperback Theory for the Age of Personal Control

By (author) Christopher Peterson, By (author) Steven F. Maier, By (author) Martin E. P. Seligman

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 376 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 229mm x 28mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 18 January 1996
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195044673
  • ISBN 13: 9780195044676
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: line figures and tables
  • Sales rank: 255,548

Product description

The psychological syndrome of learned helplessness is a uniquely modern phenomenon, and has been applied to a variety of human problems such as inappropriate passivity or demoralization. The best-known application of learned helplessness has been an explanation of depression, although numerous other extensions have been made, most recently to physical illness and death. This timely and valuable work examines learned helplessness with reference to contemporary culture of individuality and personal control.

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Review quote

the application of the theory to current issues (including depression, academic achievement, and physical well-being) are exciting, thought provoking, and highly relevant Sally Gever, READINGS: A Journal of Reviews and Commentary on Mental Health

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 1.1 The Phenomena of Helplessness and Personal Control ; 1.2 The Theory of Learned Helplessness ; 1.3 Three Uses of "Learned Helplessness" ; 1.4 Learned Helplessness: Inward, Downward, and Outward ; 1.5 Why Learned Helplessness Has Been Controversial ; 1.6 Why Learned Helplessness Has Been Popular ; 2. Learned Helplessness in Animals ; 2.1 Learned Helplessness Theory ; 2.2 The Controversy ; 2.3 Contiguity Versus Contingency ; 2.4 Representation and Expectation ; 2.5 What We Know ; 2.6 What We Don't Know ; 3. The Biology of Learned Helplessness ; 3.1 Norepinephrine ; 3.2 Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid ; 3.3 Endogenous Opiates ; 3.4 Transmitters, Neuromodulators, and Hormones ; 3.5 Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone (CRH) ; 3.6 Issues Omitted ; 3.7 What We Know ; 3.8 What We Don't Know ; 4. Learned Helplessness in People ; 4.1 Criteria of Learned Helplessness ; 4.2 Operationalizing Learned Helplessness in the Laboratory ; 4.3 A Meta-Analysis of Human Helplessness Studies ; 4.4 Other Aspects of Human Helplessness ; 4.5 The Generality of Learned Helplessness Among People ; 4.6 Cognition and Self-Report ; 4.7 Other Explanations ; 4.8 What We Know ; 5. The Attributional Reformulation ; 5.1 Historical Background: Attribution Theory and Theorizing ; 5.2 Causal Explanations and Locus of Control ; 5.3 The Reformulated Learned Helplessness Model ; 5.4 Assessing Explanatory Style ; 5.5 Empirical Studies of Explanatory Style ; 5.6 What We Know ; 5.7 What We Don't Know ; 6. Learned Helplessness and Depression ; 6.1 What Is Depression? ; 6.2 The Reformulation of the Learned Helplessness Model of Depression ; 6.3 Modernity and Depression ; 6.4 Controversies ; 6.5 What We Know ; 6.6 What We Don't Know ; 7. Learned Helplessness and Social Problems ; 7.1 Survey of Applications ; 7.2 What We Know ; 7.3 What We Don't Know ; 8. Learned Helplessness and Physical Health ; 8.1 Some Groundrules ; 8.2 Risk Factors for Illness ; 8.3 Mechanisms ; 8.4 Health and Illness in Animals Versus People ; 8.5 What We Know ; 8.6 What We Don't Know ; 9. Epilogue ; 9.1 A Brief History of Choices ; 9.2 The Importance of Control ; 9.3 Learned Helplessness as a Model of Scientific Dispute and Progress ; 9.5 Optimism Institutes