ERIC Number: ED217365
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Universal and Personal Helplessness: A Test of the Reformulated Model.
Kramer, Miriam E.; Rosellini, Robert A.
Learned helplessness has recently incorporated attribution theory to predict the specific occurrence/nonoccurrence of the motivational, cognitive and affective deficits characteristic of helplessness. College students (N=50) participated in a study to investigate the effects of a personal-universal helplessness manipulation on subsequent task performance. Subjects were divided into three groups: contingent, noncontingent, and control. The noncontingent group was subdivided into two groups and given false feedback about the performance of their peers. All subjects completed the Lubin's Adjective Checklist as well as the Levine Problem-Solving task which measured performance differences among the groups. In agreement with learned helplessness theory, the group exposed to noncontingency manifested longer latencies on the Levine task solution than the contingent or control groups. However, contrary to predictions, this deficit was observed only in the universal helplessness condition. No emotional deficits were revealed by the Adjective Checklist. The findings suggest that the often observed behavioral deficit in depressed college students may be primarily motivational in nature. (Author/JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (52nd, New York, NY, April 22-25, 1981).