How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Learned Helplessness Theory
How we attribute the events that occur in our lives has a significant effect on our attitudes and efforts in improving our lot. In particular there are three types of belief affect us:
Seligman rang a bell whilst shocking a restrained dog. He then allowed it to move out of the way and rang the bell again. The dog did not move! What it had learned was not that ringing a bell means pain, but that it is futile trying to get away from shocks.
If a poor test result is attributed to a lack of intrinsic capability as evidenced by many past failures, then we are likely to reduce our efforts, be more depressed and view ourselves in an ever-fading light.
To build influence, make and encourage attributions about other people so they learn helplessness and become dependent on you.
To help people become less helpless, show them what is happening. Help them make attributions that lead to positive actions and 'learned confidence'.
Positively seek unstable, external and specific causes that mean you can change your world. Guard against friends and others who push you into dependence.