I guess this is one of those 'when will I ever use this in real life' moments. My honors English class last year was lucky enough to be chosen by the state to re-analyze and rewrite our essays. The essays were part of a plan that we do, where you write one your 7th, 9th, and 11th grade years on whatever topic they choose and get graded on it to assess the English skills throughout the state. (the grades might be wrong but you get the point. I just woke up, bear with me) basically what that means for us is really pointless boring essays that most kids just skip the day they give it and not take it.
What's my point? Last year, our topic was learned helplessness. We had to read 2 studies by whatever random psychologists they chose, and compare/contrast them in an at least 2 page essay and it was timed. Then, since our class was so lucky, we had to bring that essay back a few weeks later, break it down, analyze it, do projects on it, and in the end we rewrote our entire 2 page timed essay about 4 times. The first time was typed so it wasn't bad, but the others were hand written. I wanted to beat my head on the desk repeatedly.
It was only studies about kids, and I don't remember much because I got pretty snarky about it and really didn't want to do it. It was basically saying that if your kid does great in school in lower grades, and you nonstop praise them on how smart they are, they won't try when the hit higher grades and their report cards will be worse. However, if you praise them on how much effort they're putting forth, they'll keep trying through high school and college. And the learned helplessness comes into play when the kids get presented with something they don't know/struggle with; the kids that get told how smart they are, etc. will give up when they can't do it and won't try it again whereas the kids that were told how much progress they were making, etc. kept trying until they figured it out.
I couldn't find the essays, they must have been burned already. (End of the year bonfire's what's up) And thanks to Tennessee's own statute of limitations type thing they have instilled on this crap, you won't be able to find it online or anything for a few years. Because it's classified.
I'll still try and pull some strings to dig it up and give you more insight, but yeah. There ya go.