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5. Learned Helplessness
- Image Credits
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we introduce Seligman’s Learned Helplessness theory as a further psychological explanation for depression, focusing in particular on: (i) Overmier and Seligman’s Learned Helplessness experiment from 1967 which showed that dogs which had been subjected to electric shocks in a condition where they could not escape, subsequently gave up trying to escape further shocks even in conditions where this was possible; (ii) how this concept of ‘learned helplessness’ can be applied in a human context, specifically in relation to depression, and what strategies are available to avoid or overcome it; (iii) how Seligman’s work in this area led him to later develop the field of positive psychology, a branch of psychology concerned above all with happiness and well-being.
In this course, Professor Linda Gask (University of Manchester) explores the topic of depression. In the first lecture, we think about what depression is and how it can be diagnosed. In the second lecture, we think about different biological explanations for depression and consider available drug treatments. In the third lecture, we think about Freud’s psychodynamic model of depression. Next, we think about two cognitive models and their corresponding treatments: Ellis’s ABC Model and Rational Emotive Therapy and Beck’s Cognitive Triad and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. In the fifth lecture, we introduce Seligman’s Learned Helplessness theory as a further psychological explanation for depression. In the sixth and final lecture, we conclude the course with a discussion of the social factors that may play a role in depression and underlines the importance of considering biological, psychological and social factors in conjunction.
Professor Linda Gask trained in medicine at the University of Edinburgh and in psychiatry in the North West of England. She was a 2000-2001 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy based at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle. She has also worked as a consultant for the World Health Organisation and has been a zonal representative for the World Psychiatric Association.
Cite this Lecture
Gask, L. (2019, September 30). Psychopathology – Depression - Learned Helplessness [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/depression/learned-helplessness
Gask, L. "Psychopathology – Depression – Learned Helplessness." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Sep 2019, https://massolit.io/courses/depression/learned-helplessness