Posted by bob on May 16, 2000, at 20:51:24
In reply to Re: learned--optimism vs. helplessness, posted by Abby on May 16, 2000, at 20:20:13
> I know that that research is about 25 years old or so, but learned optimism is just the flip side of [the treatment response to] depression---the learned helplessness part.--Abby
I know, but to address the issue more seriously, Seligman and Csikzsentmihalyi's point is that psychology as a whole has focused more on disfunction than on optimal function. I honestly haven't seen anything by Seligman on "learned optimism", but it may not be a simple "flip side" of LH. If I remember correctly, he originally came out of a behavioral/animal studies paradigm to come up with the concept, then reformulated it to fit into Causal Attribution Theory. Given the formulaic account for how LH develops, it is rather simple to change the directions or "signs" (negative to positive) to come up with LO. But bringing Csikzsentmihalyi's views on optimal experience and flow into the mix moves it away, I think, from an attributional model towards a more intrinsic viewof how it may occur.
Course, this is all just speculation on my part now ... but if any of this is zipping over the heads of anyone interested in hearing more, let me know and I'll be a bit more verbose in describing this stuff above.