Motivation of helplessness - Fundamentals of General Psychology

Motivation of helplessness

Often a person gets into life situations where he is, in fact, able to cope with the problem, but nevertheless turns out to be helpless.

Many psychologists were interested in this problem. For the first time the description of the state of helplessness, the causes of its occurrence, have been studied in animals. It turned out that if the dog is kept attached for a long time in the machine and gives it a moderate amount of current after the light signal lights up, then it gets used and, being free, it does not try to escape from the machine after the light signal. The animal learns to be helpless and submissive, although in fact, pain may well have been avoided.

The dog behaved differently, which for the first time got into the machine and was not attached: as soon as a light bulb was lit, it jumped out of the machine.

Therefore, a helpless dog makes a former sad experience of behavior in a similar situation. Approximately this mechanism works in people.

The most helplessness is demonstrated by those people who are not confident in themselves and believe that little depends on them in life.

The research was conducted directly on the person. Scientists have tried to understand why, having tackled the task and having the necessary skills, knowledge, skills, the person is unable to apply them in practice. To investigate this problem, it was necessary to put a person in a situation where he, successfully solving some problems, could not cope with others and was unable to explain it.

It has been established that the feeling of helplessness in humans appears when numerous failures in consciousness are associated with the lack of the abilities necessary for successful activity.

Along with a decrease in motivation in these cases, there is usually a lack of knowledge, as well as an emotionally positive stimulation of activity.

Feeling of strength and ability to control your life contributes to health and survival. Loss of control over the situation can lead to unpleasant, stressful consequences.

Some diseases are associated with a feeling of helplessness and a reduced choice. Hence the depletion and rapid death in concentration camps, nursing homes and among chronically ill. Patients who have been trained to believe in their ability to control stress need less analgesic and sedatives, and medical staff consider them less disturbing.

In a study conducted in a prestigious nursing home, the importance of personal control was proven. For the treatment of patients, one of two methods was selected. In a speech addressed to one group of patients, benevolent staff emphasized: "Our duty is to make you proud of this house and be happy here." They considered patients as recipients who were ready to passively accept empathy and care. After three weeks, many rated their condition as close to exhaustion, the same was the assessment of psychologists and staff. An appeal to another group of patients contributed to the awakening of personal control. It emphasized the possibility of choice, the ability to influence the situation and the person's responsibility for their own destiny, these patients gave little opportunity to make decisions and fulfill certain duties. In the next three weeks, 93% of this group became more alert, active and happy.

Research confirms that the systems of management or leadership of people that stimulate the power of one's own "I" will actually promote health and happiness.

- Prisoners who have any way to control the environment (they can move chairs, turn on and off TVs, light the lights), experience less stress. They have fewer health problems, and they do not do many hooligan acts.

- For workers who have the ability to independently perform tasks and make decisions, the best moral condition.

- Law-abiding citizens who can choose what to eat for breakfast, when to go to the cinema, go to bed late or get up early, live longer and, of course, are more happy.

- Inhabitants of shelters for homeless people who can not freely choose when to eat and sleep, and can not control their personal lives from unwanted intrusions, are likely to be passive and helpless in search of a home and work.

So, if we do not want to educate the helpless, passive, constantly waiting support and guidance of a person, then it is necessary to maintain its high activity and initiative, adequate self-esteem, to provide artificial, but success, in a difficult situation.

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