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Immunization to and Alleviation of Learned Helplessness in Man

Jerry W. Thornton and George D. Powell
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 87, No. 3 (Sep., 1974), pp. 351-367
DOI: 10.2307/1421378
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1421378
Page Count: 17
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Immunization to and Alleviation of Learned Helplessness in Man
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Abstract

Subjects given a choice-reaction-time task (task 1) with uncontrollable shock reacted more slowly on a transfer motor task (task 2) than subjects with controllable shock on task 1. Subjects given controllable and then uncontrollable shock on task 1 demonstrated a recency effect on task 2: the transfer set seemed based on the contingencies of the final trials of task 1. Subjects given uncontrollable shock on task 1 and then informed that the shock on task 2 would be controllable showed an alleviation of the helplessness learned in task 1 and reacted more quickly on task 2 than subjects who had had controllable shock or no shock on task 1. Learned helplessness was consistent and resistant to change at 0-, 1-, and 24-hour intervals.

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