Learned helplessness in the rat.
Four experiments attempted to produce behavior in the rat parallel to the behavior characteristic of learned helplessness in the dog. When rats received escapable, inescapable, or no shock and were later tested in jump-up escape, both inescapable and no-shock controls failed to escape. When bar pressing, rather than jumping up, was used as the tested escape response, fixed ratio (FR) 3 was interfered with by inescapable shock, but not lesser ratios. With FR-3, the no-shock control escaped well. Interference with escape was shown to be a function of the inescapability of shock and not shock per se: Rats that were "put through" and learned a prior jump-up escape did not become passive, but their yoked, inescapable partners did. Rats, as well as dogs, fail to escape shock as a function of prior inescapability, exhibiting learned helplessness.