This study was to determine if critical thinking was affected by vicarious learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which one continues to be hurt or damaged physically or mentally. The hypothesis was that people who were primed with thoughts or made to believe and think of themselves or others in an abusive relationship would score lower on critical thinking than those primed with thoughts of a healthy relationship. Thirty participants were randomly assigned into two groups; one group listened to an audio recording based on a healthy relationship and the other listened to an abusive relationship. Following the audio recordings a test was administered featuring five critical thinking questions. As predicted, the scores of people primed with thoughts of an abusive relationship scored lower on the critical thinking questionnaire.

Faculty Mentor

Weylin Sternglanz, Ph.D



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