Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2021

Department 1



The hopelessness theory of depression, mainly contributed by Martin Seligman, theorizes that the cause of depression is due to a belief that one has no control over the outcomes of their life, leaving them hopeless. “Learned helplessness” or “hopelessness” is a key phenomenon that helped Martin Seligman develop the theory of hopelessness depression. The current literature review traces the history of learned helplessness, from the first findings of evidence of the phenomenon to the development of the hopelessness depression theory.


Written for PSYCH 341: History of Psychological Science

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.