ERIC Number: ED158808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: 0
To Succeed or Not to Succeed: Is That the Only Question in Learned Helplessness? A Critical Analysis of Theoretical and Methodological Issues.
Mark, Sandra Fay
Instrumentation, task content, the limited options of success or failure, methodology and assumptions are substantive issues which question the validity of conclusions made about human subjects in studies of achievement motivation and learned helplessness. A review of learned helplessness studies outlines the number and source of subjects, kinds and content of tasks used, methodological considerations and significant findings in each study. It is concluded that different results are obtained when variables are behavioral rather than projective, and when subjects are told that their responses were expected rather than unexpected, consistent with sex role or inconsistent with it. Different outcomes are also obtained when environmental norms or expectations are changed. These issues have serious implications for the schools particularly as the structure of the classroom in American schools lends itself to the development and perpetuation of learned helplessness and low achievement behaviors by females. Suggestions to change learned helplessness behavior include: training students to deal with failure constructively, incorporating information about correct responses and reasons for failure in negative evaluations and, retraining females in their attributional processes. A bibliography is included. (MB)
Descriptors: Attribution Theory, Behavior Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Goal Orientation, Helplessness, Instrumentation, Learning Disabilities, Learning Motivation, Personality Assessment, Postsecondary Education, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Research Reviews (Publications), Self Concept, Sex Stereotypes, Student Motivation, Task Performance
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Genesee Community Coll., Batavia, NY.