ERIC Number: ED147678
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Learned Helplessness on Alcohol Consumption.
Noel, Nora E.; Lisman, Stephen A.
Widely held cultural beliefs assert that alcohol can offer both an ameliorative and preventive solution to the problem of depression. This study attempted to assess the effects of learned helplessness--a possible laboratory analog to reactive depression--on alcohol consumption. Thirty-eight female undergraduates were randomly assigned (within drinking category blocks) to one of two conditions. Half were given unsolvable problems (learned helplessness condition) and half were given solvable problems (control). Relative to controls, subjects in the learned helplessness group reported increased depression and hostility. In addition, they drank more beer in a taste-rating task. Finally , although the manipulation was one previously reported in the literature, expected anagram solution deficits were not exhibited by the learned helplessness subjects. This failure, coupled with the findings of increased hostility and depression in the helplessness group, may suggest that a frustration/stress reaction rather than a state of helplessness characterized the subjects. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (April 13-16, 1977, Boston, Massachusetts)