Learned Helplessness


Learned Helplessness is a psychological/emotional state that develops when an individual is subjected to repeated aversive stimuli (abuse, neglect, etc.) over which it has no control over. When an individual is subjected to repeated aversive stimuli that it cannot control or escape, it comes to believe and behave as if it is powerless to do anything about it.[1] When an individual or animal learns that it has no power over the world, it learns that it is helpless.

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Related Terms

Psychic Sepsis

Notes

Parental abuse, that is, assaults on defenceless children, can contribute to the development of learned helplessness in children. Children are powerless to prevent and escape. This impacts their relationship with authority (makes them more compliant over time).

Further Reading

Verywell Mind. “What Causes Learned Helplessness?” Accessed January 31, 2020. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-learned-helplessness-2795326.

YouTube video What is Learned Helplessness

Footnotes

  1. Verywell Mind. “What Causes Learned Helplessness?” Accessed January 31, 2020. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-learned-helplessness-2795326.
  2. Sosteric, Mike, and Gina Ratkovic. Lightning Path Workbook Two - Healing. Vol. 2. Lightning Path Workbook Series. St. Albert, Alberta: Lightning Path Press, 2017. https://press.lightningpath.org/product/the-lightning-path-book-two-healing/.