In 1967 the renoun(c)ed Martin Seligman discovered that he could induce what he called “learned helpnessness” by administering painful electric shock treatments to dogs restrained by harnesses, until they no longer showed  signs of attempting to avoid the shock, even after the harnesses were removed. That is, the state of “learned helplessness” would occur when the dogs were shocked (from an electric floor) without harnesses , and rather than try to escape, “simply lay down passively and whined.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

Later, these same techniques were adopted by the CIA and are reported to have been used at Guantanamo bay and other sites in order to improve interrogation ‘effectiveness’:

http://www.politicsofwellbeing.com/2010/02/learned-helplessness-in-action-at.html

Advertisements