Sunday :: Jul 27, 2008

Open Thread


by Mary

Food for thought from the Bill Moyers interview with Jane Mayer.

JANE MAYER: There's this theory called learned helplessness, where if you keep shocking a dog in a cage in a random way so that there's no sense to it, the dog'll just kind of give up. They won't even try to escape after a while when you open the door because they're completely despondent. And this particular psychologist, James Mitchell, what showed up near Abu Zubaydah and started talking about this theory of learned helplessness and how the science was great and you could sort of break resistance of detainees if you applied some of these same methods.

Now, just for legal reasons, I need to say that a lawyer for James Mitchell says that he never really believed this. Yet, I have people on the record in here, in this book, talking about how he talked about it all the time.

Your turn now.

Mary :: 12:00 AM :: Comments (21) :: Digg It!