Expression of the Emotions Figure 5 by Mr. Riviere - Scanned from 1965 version with foreword by Konrad Lorenz published by University of Chicago Press. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Annotated Links

Definition and references.

Overview Brief overview of learned helplessness research and applications.

Donít Worry, Be Happy Writer Maria Konnikova describes the link between expectations and outcomes for cynics and optimists, while incorporating research on locus of control, learned helplessness, depressive realism, perceived control, optimism, pessimism, self-fulfilling prophesies and more. From The New Yorker, June 18, 2014.

The Penn Resiliency Project Based on Ellis' Adversity-Consequences-Beliefs (ABC) model and the cognitive-behavioral theories of depression by Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and Martin Seligman, elementary and middle school children learn to detect automatic thoughts, evaluate the accuracy of these thoughts, and to consider alternatives to challenge negative beliefs. Includes an overview of the program, references, current projects, and a summary of research findings using the program.

You Just Have to Believe: Audacious Ambition Researchers Timothy Judge and John Kammeyer-Mueller have shown that people who believe they can accomplish the goals they set are more likely to accomplish them. This is because if you believe you can accomplish your goal, you are more likely to put in the energy and effort required to attain it. From the PsychCentral blog, December 2013.

Assignments, Exercises, and Activities

Electronic Texts

Examples and Illustrations

Displaced Gulf Oil Workers: Learned Helplessness, Stress, and Depression Michael Britt, of The Psych Files, found and annotated this article from the New York Times, June 16, 2010, on how the oil spill in the Gulf is taking a toll on the psyches of the workers.

Lecture Notes

Lecture Notes Extensive overview of learned helplessness, depression, and related theories including graphs and charts from the University of Plymouth, U.K.

Slide Presentations

Tests, Measures, and Scales

Whatís Your Explanatory Style? The ASQ and other measures of Explanatory Style are not freely available to use with your class, but Oprah magazine ran this 12-item quiz to give readers a sense of their attributional style in August of 2004. Each of the possible responses tap the three dimensions of internal-external, stable-unstable, and global-specific. While not a psychometrically sound measure of explanatory style, it will give students a sense of their own tendencies and a concrete illustration of optimistic and pessimistic explanatory styles.

Multimedia Resources

Learned Helplessness In this video clip Charisse Nixon, Developmental Psychologist at Penn State Erie, discusses the phenomenon of learned helplessness and applies it to the social realm of teenagers. (Shot by Mark Steensland) (6 minutes, 55 seconds).


Page last modified by July 19, 2015, at 12:37 PM