Posts Tagged Reflective vs Reflexive

Stress and Learned Helplessness

We know that when stress overcomes us, choices seem 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 … >>>