Posts Tagged Learned Helplessnes

Stress and the Brain

We know that when stress overcomes us, choices seems limited, thereby decreasing effectiveness. Behavioral scientists have a name for this psychological reaction: learned helplessness.

This phenomenon has been studied in laboratory rodents whose nervous system bears striking similarities to that of humans. Here is how one experiment works. If you provide mice with an escape route, they typically learn very quickly how to avoid a mild electrical shock that occurs a few seconds after they hear a tone. But if the escape route is blocked whenever the tone is sounded, and new shocks occur, the mice will eventually stop trying to run away. Later, even after the escape route is cleared, the animals simply freeze at the sound of the … >>>


Learned Helplessness

Learned helplessness is a condition characterized by a sense of powerlessness. It can rise up from a traumatic event, constant negative self-talk, constant scolding, or constant failure to succeed in a task.

When I was pregnant and reading every baby book in sight, I continually came upon the admonition: Say ”No” as little as possible to babies and toddlers. That means taking all bric-a-brac off the tables, puting chemical bottles on high shelves, and looking around the home for potentially hazardous situations that can be eliminated.

Saying “NO” can have many interpretations—including telling a child that what she is doing is wrong—rather than showing how to do something correctly. One approach empowers; the other disempowers.

Refrain from scolding. Scolding makes … >>>