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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


ABREU, Paulo Roberto. New relations among functional interpretations of the learned helplessness and the behavioral model of depression. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2011, vol.24, n.4, pp.788-797. ISSN 0102-7972.

The learned helplessness has been referred as being an animal model of depression. Its traditional hypothesis affirms that subjects submitted to uncontrollable aversive stimuli will develop learning difficulties, reducing their activity frequency. Such analysis has historically presented certain dissonance with the clinical model that affirmed some behaviors increased in frequency during the depressive episode. However, some researches show that subjects pre-exposed to uncontrollability learn the escape response, depending on the properties of the test contingency such as the contiguity of the consequence and the specific discriminative control. Those data impelled the formulation of a new functional hypothesis for the experimental procedure. In this article, it is suggested a possible dialogue between the new hypothesis and the behavioral model of depression.

Keywords : Learned Helplessness; Depression; Uncontrollability; Psychopathology.

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