Posts Tagged discipline and learned helplessness

Discipline and Conditioned Helplessness

The classic example of “conditioning” is that of the huge circus elephant tethered by its foot to a small stake in the ground. This strong elephant could surely pull the steak out of the ground—but does not.

This happens because, as a baby, the elephant was chained to a huge stake. When the baby elephant tugged and tugged and could not get free, it eventually stopped trying. Now, the full-grown elephant with almost unlimited strength remembers the futility of his efforts and no longer tries to free itself. This example illustrates the position of “conditioned helplessness.”

This same type of conditioning takes place in society today when young people are continually told that they are victims of circumstances. The message … >>>