Locus of control and the generality of learned helplessness in humans.
journal contributionposted on 01.12.1976, 00:00 by Sheldon CohenSheldon Cohen, Myron Rothbart, Susan Phillips
To examine the effects of learned helplessness on tasks used to assess the aftereffects of stress, 42 internal and external undergraduates (selected by scores on a brief form of Rotter's Internal–External Locus of Control Scale) were pretreated with contingent or noncontingent nonnoxious reinforcement using a yoking procedure to control for amount of trials and reinforcement. Both internal and external noncontingent Ss performed more poorly on subsequent tasks requiring a problem-solving strategy. However, only externals showed helplessness effects on non-problem-solving tasks.