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MYTH WARRIORS! - “You are not a helpless victim.”

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Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson


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In the MYTH WARRIORS™ series we are targeting ideas to begin to assess whether they are credible or not (i.e., they are a myth, fallacy or even a lie). The topic for this episode is, “You are not a helpless victim.”

Helpless definition?

“: not protected : not able to defend yourself : unable to do something to make a situation, task, etc., better or easier : not able to be controlled” Helpless. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/helpless

Learned helplessness definition? 

“[L]earned helplessness, in psychology, a mental state in which an organism forced to bear aversive stimuli, or stimuli that are painful or otherwise unpleasant, becomes unable or unwilling to avoid subsequent encounters with those stimuli, even if they are “escapable,” presumably because it has learned that it cannot control the situation. […]Seligman coined the term learned helplessness to describe the expectation that outcomes are uncontrollable. [...P]rior learning can result in a drastic change in behaviour and seeking to explain why individuals may accept and remain passive in negative situations despite their clear ability to change them.” Learned helplessness. (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1380861/learned-helplessness

Potential solution?

"Optimistic people tend to interpret troubles as transient, controllable, and specific to one situation. Pessimistic people, in contrast, believe that their troubles last forever, undermine everything they do and are uncontrollable.” http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-02-19/features/sns-201302191830--tms--pagliarictnrp-a20130219-20130219_1_negativity-state-lotteries-helplessness