Learned helplessness: expanding on a goal-directed perspective

Cognition and Emotion 36 (6):1037-1041 (2022)
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This commentary reviews a novel model of learned helplessness proposed by Boddez et al. in this issue of Cognition and Emotion. Combining operant and goal-directed perspectives, Boddez et al. suggest that helplessness stems from a lack of reinforcement when striving toward a goal, with the degree of generalisation dependent on subjective perceptions of goal similarity. We begin by reviewing the theoretical model, describe possible expansions from a cognitive perspective, and discuss several considerations. We finish with a brief discussion of possible directions for future work.



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