Saturday, July 10, 2010

Final project

Throughout this course I learned a bunch of different things. We were introduced to the book through different psychologists some of which I did not know. William James was one of the new psychologists I learned about and who I did my first post on. We also reviewed the classics like Freud, Darwin, and Watson. We went into research methods and reviewed terms such as variables, stimulus and response. When I started going into the chapters I thought things would be review, but I was introduced to a bunch of new terms like overt and convert behavior, functional relationships, appetitive stimulus, contiguity, and the list continues. I was pleasantly surprised at how this book took a different approach to most psych books and learned about a lot of different things. As a psych major, classes can sometimes be very repetitious, but this book was refreshing and new.

One topic that I really liked was learned helplessness. This video gave a great perspective on it and made the topic make a lot of sense. In the book it is defined as a decrement in learning ability that results from exposure to uncontrollable adverse events. This definition may be confusing or open ended. When I read this it still leaves me recognizing the term, but could not define in my own words. This little classroom experiment really demonstrates well.

So learned helplessness is when someone is turned down or fails once and then just stops trying. They may feel discouraged, frustrated, or stupid. Learning about learned helplessness is beneficial because then people would know others feel the same way in similar situations and maybe people could bounce back better. Going in the the elementary education field definitely something to consider for future teachers!


  1. Learned helplessness always interested me and sometimes I can see myself in some of these traits. It is so funny how people act in certain ways with out ever thinking about the reasons for them acting that way. Being a psychology major I am always analyzing myself and others from the things that I have learned.

  2. Learned Helplessness is especially discouraging in the school setting. A child's abilities can be questioned so many times by a teacher that eventually they will believe they will never be able to grasp certain concepts. For example- math. In school i was always a horrible math student, but can never recall a helpful teacher in my first years of schooling. When i think of math I always think of those classes where i would be the last one with a math test in the back of the room while everyone else was already on to reading... this really hurt my math abilities when i got to high school.