Definition of Learned helplessness
The condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards.
Examples of Learned helplessness in the following topics:
- An external locus of control may relate to learned helplessness in a responsive environment.
- Evidence has supported the theory that locus of control is learned and can be modified.
- Learned optimism vs. learned helplessnessOptimism is a world view that interprets situations and events as being optimized, or best.
- Learned optimism refers to development of one's potential for this optimized outlook; it is the belief that one can influence the future in tangible and meaningful ways.
- Furthermore, optimists have been shown to live healthier lifestyles (i.e. smoking less, being more physically active, consuming healthier foods, and consuming more moderate amounts of alcohol) and utilize more positive coping styles, both of which may lower the risk of disease.Learned helplessness, in contrast, is the belief that one has no control over the events in one's life.
- Learned helplessness is associated with depression and anxiety, both of which threaten a person's physical and mental well-being; it can also contribute to poor health when people neglect diet, exercise, and medical treatment, falsely believing they have no power to change.