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A Patient's Rights to Refuse Treatment and How it Relates to Learned Helplessness of Folks The Idea of learned helplessness was first suggested by M. Seligman an animal psychologist, in 1975. Throughout a series of experiments involving dogs and rats, he found the creatures which had a control over their surroundings (in being able to protect against a series of electrical shocks) would always work to prevent the undesirable stimulation; whereas the animals which had formerly had no control over their surroundings (and therefore were not able to protect against the shocks) finally became excruciating and wouldn't attempt to escape the stimulation, even if it was possible to do so. It was found that вЂњBecause these critters have learned that nothing they did perform, they did nothing.вЂќ [Page 237] (Brannon & Feist, 1992) The animals concerned had therefore learned to be helpless, but had also learned to apply this Feedback to other scenarios, where there wasn't any perceived controllability. The concept of learned helplessness has been criticized, however. Skevington (1995) notes three studies which criticize learned helplessness, specifically Dent & Teasdale (1988), Lewinsohn et al. (1981) and Skevington (1993). Skevington (1995) says вЂњAll three research demonstrated little support for its learned helplessness antecedent hypothesis that depressive attributions precede depression.вЂќ [Page 147] (Skevington, 1995) With specific regard to the duration of gout, Skevington (1995) maintains that learned helplessness isn't an important feature, a position she also claims for chronic lower back pain sufferers. However Skevington (...