The Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock
In May of 1967 Martin Seligman and Steven Maier conducted a research Called “Failure to escape traumatic shock”. This experiment involved three groups of dogs. Each group of dogs had a different purpose. Group one was the control group and did not receive a shock. Group two received a shock but was able stop the halter from shocking them by pressing a button. Group three was shocked and was not able to stop the shock, they were forced to wait for group two to press the button and then their halter would stop shocking them. Group three was under the presumption that they had to just wait for the shocking to be over, which lead them to be helpless which is called “Learned helplessness”.
If you have three groups of dogs and the first is your control group. These dogs do not receive any shock. The second group of dogs were shocked through a halter, but were able to stop the shock by stepping on a pad. The third group was shocked but was unable to stop the shock; they were at the mercy of group two to step on the pad to stop the shock. If you have this type of experiment you are forcing group three to be helpless. If you have dogs that are being shocked at what they think is random, and they know that they cannot do anything to stop the shock they just have to wait for it to end, then you are creating what is called “Learned Helplessness”. This is what you call when something is condition to become helpless. Now experiment two is allowing group three to be able to stop the shock just like group two did in experiment one. The dogs in group three, experiment two will not know to press the pad to stop the shocking because they have become prone to the fact that they just have to wait, they believe that are helpless and cannot do anything about the situation that they are in. This is called “failure to escape traumatic shock”.
Seligman and Maier had conducted a controlled experiment. The experiment consisted of three groups...
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