Langer and Rodin (1976) conducted studies in nursing homes. They found that when people were placed in institutions where they lost a sense of control there were detrimental effects on their health. These residents learned to be helpless. However, when residents were given an opportunity to care for a plant, their sense of helplessness decreased.
Think of other situations in which feeling a lack of control can be detrimental to one’s health. What suggestions could you make to help this person feel a greater sense of control?