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心理学essay代写 In 1967, while experimenting on classical conditioning, Martin Seligman and Steven F. Maier accidentally discovered the…

In 1967, while experimenting on classical conditioning, Martin Seligman and Steven F. Maier accidentally discovered the concept that is known today as learned helplessness. This theory was founded through an experiment that consisted of dogs and short bursts of electrical shocks after a tone was played. Initially, a group of dogs were placed in harnesses so they would not be able to escape the electrical shocks. Then, this dog group, as well as dogs that weren’t shocked, were placed inside a shuttle box. The box was split into two sides, with one side having an electrical grid on the floor.

Seligman and Maier found that there was a distinct difference in the behavior between the dogs that were initially harnessed and ones who had not been. When a shock was initialized, dogs that weren’t harnessed immediately ran to escape, jumping across to the other side of the shuttle box. On the other hand, the dogs that were previously harnessed revealed a different behavior. They made no attempt to escape, as they thought there was no chance to. They simply would lie down and whimper as they would in previous experiments. It was quickly discovered that this dog group was classically conditioned to stay idle during shocks due to being harnessed beforehand (“Chapter 9”).

Although learned helplessness has shown different behavior in animals, it can also be revealed within human behavior. 心理学essay代写

A human can be introduced to an ongoing negative reinforcement when presented with an uncontrollable situation. For example, a student who consistently receives bad grades will eventually think that nothing he or she does will help their performance. From there on out, he or she will continue to do poorly in academics as they see no improvement.

As one can see, when a person is in a situation where their control is out of reach, they may begin to behave as if they have no help. This behavior can go on for extensive amounts of time; however, there are solutions to reverse this behavior through different types of therapy. In addition, when one experiences learned helplessness, their behavior can lead to several different psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, shyness, or loneliness (Cherry, 2019).

Learned helplessness in children is the most interesting to me, as I have too experienced this at a young age. In fact, learned helplessness often originates from childhood, mostly due to unresponsive caregivers that do not aid during a child’s life (Cherry, 2019). A parent that ignores their child acts as a negative reinforcement and will essentially change the behavior of the child over time. Repeated reinforcements like this can lead to similar behavior in adulthood. As a result, a child can be introduced to extreme cases of anxiety and depression. This can become a major problem for a child that doesn’t receive immediate attention and can stick with them for years to come (Deiner et al., 2015).

As I said, I have experienced learned helplessness before during my childhood; however, it was not due to unaided parenting. 心理学essay代写


Academic struggles can also lead to this feeling of helplessness (Cherry, 2019). Throughout the beginnings of my academic career as a child, I always tried to do well in school. On the other hand, I always had room for improvement. Eventually, this was a problem for me and gave me a sense of learned helplessness. Nothing seemed to be improving my grades no matter how hard I tried, so I eventually stopped trying and my grades would then suffer substantially. As I look back now, I can see that the negative reinforcement of receiving bad grades was holding me back.

It had changed my behavior, resulting in a short period of depression, which I hid away from my friends and family. I would then fail to seek out options as I saw no need to. I was very serious about my performance in school at a young age, and I still am to this day. Luckily, I was able to escape from this disorder before high school and college began.

The behaviorist concepts of operant conditioning, specifically reinforcement, are very important to the learned helplessness theory. Thanks to Martin Seligman’s experiment, the learned helplessness theory is now a known disorder that is studied closely and can be treated in a timely manner. The impact that it has on humans is very serious, especially for children, since it can result in other critical psychological disorders such as anxiety or depression. Taking what we learned in class about operant conditioning, I can now intertwine it with the concepts of learned helplessness. It now gives me a full understanding of why I lacked motivation at such a young age.

References 心理学essay代写

Chapter 9: Section 3: Learned Helplessness. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Cherry, K. (2019, March 15). What Causes Learned Helplessness? Retrieved from

Diener, E., Biswas-Diener, R., Mehl, M. R., Scollon, C. N., Buss, D. M., Turkheimer, E., … Pressman, S. (2015). Discover Psychology 2.0 – A Brief Introductory Text. Noba