Why some people choose to give up before trying?

Now it is 1.32 am in the morning. I still try to finish my blog before the due, but my friend just gives up. He says it’s too late, it’s impossible for him to finish the blog before the due. However, we still have 11 hours, thus I think we still have a chance. If we give up and do nothing, at that time we do not have any chance.I have seen so many people give up easily, and I do not understand why they do not have a try?

They just reminds me a experiment that I learned in my high school. It’s called learned helplessness.”Learned helplessness is behavior that has repeated painful stimuli which it was can not be escape. After going through this experience, the organism can not escape in new situations where such behavior might be helpful. In other words, the organism learned that it is helpless in aversive situations,so it gives up trying. “(Wikipedia) In the first part of the experiment, researchers had three groups of dogs, and they were put in harness. In group one, the dogs just be put in the harness and be release later. In group two, dogs were given electric shocks, but they can stop it by pressing a lever. In group three, dogs were given electric shocks, but the lever in group 3 did not work. Thus it seems that in group three, electric shocks were unescapable. In the second part of the experiment, three groups of dogs were tested in a shuttle box apparatus. Dogs can escape shocks by jumping out of the box. In group one and two, all dogs jumped outside the box. However, dogs in group 3 failed to escape. Actually they did not even try to jump, and they just stayed in the box. They thought no matter how hard they tried, they could not escape.

Video about the learned helplessness experiment



My friend is like the dog in group three. I am very disappointed with him because he still has a chance to finish his blog, but he chose to give up. My father told me that giving up is the most easiest thing in our life but insistence is the hardest. Learned helplessness is related to mental illness that fails to control over the outcome of a situation. If people always give up easily, this is the signal of this type of mental illness. Hope everyone can try before giving up, hope everyone who is still trying to finish their blog can keep working on their blog, and good luck.








Learned Helplessness

6 thoughts on “Why some people choose to give up before trying?

  1. David Ross

    I was on the verge on declaring myself helpless in terms of the blogs and the noon deadline. Yet, here I am at 5:19am grinding out comments just so I can feel better about my life. The idea of helplessness is very interesting and I wanted to look further into it. Do you think that the feeling of helplessness has to do with genetics at all? Are certain people more susceptible to feeling helpless than other simply because their parents were?

  2. Trae Vann Morgan-White

    I often let the negatives of a situation outweigh the positives. So, this is definitely relatable. I usually give up sometimes before even trying, so I can relate to your friend with this blog period. However, it’s way better to strive to make an effort instead of doing nothing at all, and I’ve learned that from my previous blog period.

  3. gcm5149

    This was an interesting blog because I actually learned about learned helplessness in my psychology class. Definitely it is easier to give up than to keep going. I found it interesting though, that if I was with someone, I was less likely to give up. When I am in the gym, I don’t do half reps or give up on reps because there is someone there holding me accountable. In an article I found, it said that accountability improved performance and helped people be more creative and innovative.

    here’s the article: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/reference-materials/more-topics/accountability-can-have-positive-results/

  4. Kateryna Okhrimchuk

    I love this topic so much because my family also conditioned me to just push through and get my work done no matter what. As I type this comment at 2:32 AM, I also thought about just throwing in the towel and going to bed, but thats not like me and I’ve decided to just be resilient and finish my blogs and comments for this blog period. Have you ever thought about the x variables that determine who learns helplessness and who doesn’t? Immigrants and first generation Americans, speaking from personal experience, have an extreme amount of pressure put on them to study hard and succeed. They often get the “we didn’t come to this country for you to be a garbageman/woman” speech, and they feel extremely guilty when they don’t work hard. Another variable could be the influence of people around you. If all your friends are lazy and don’t want to do the blogs, you’ll likely conform to these common social norms and follow their lead, even if it’s not the right thing to do.

  5. Colleen Bridget Mcshea

    I feel as if many people let fear hold them back from giving things a try. For example, maybe your friend thought that if he tried completing his blog posts so late at night, he may not be able to work to his full potential, which puts him at risk for getting a bad grade. Although I can understand why some people think that way, I am the opposite. If I do not give things a chance, I almost start to feel guilty about it and ask myself, “what if?”. That being said, your friend could be saying to himself right now, “Well, what if I had just done the blog posts and received a good grade? Then maybe I wouldn’t have to do the last blog period.” He’ll never know though, because he didn’t take the chance!

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