From Helplessness To Hope: The Seminal Career Of Martin Seligman

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Optimism And Hope


Provides a background to the history of research on learned helplessness and learned optimism, as well as M. Seligman's own involvement in these areas. The development of research in this area also illustrates two other important lessons in how science actually proceeds. First, it is often difficult to predict at the outset where research will lead. Work on learned helplessness began in the animal laboratory and for several years was directed at deep theoretical issues in the psychology of learning and not at depression, academic achievement, and other significant human phenomenon. And second, the history of learned helplessness research demonstrates the continuity between basic and applied research in the way that it has moved effortlessly between fundamental issues in learning, cognition, and motivation on the one hand, and attempts to deal with problems of human adaptation and obstacles to achievement of human potential on the other.

Published By

Templeton Foundation Press


Jane Gillham


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