Series: Honoring the Greats – Abraham LincolnFeatured

What’s the first thing that strikes your mind when you hear the name, Abraham Lincoln? Of course, you’d say he was The Former President of the United States of America. But there is so much more to the man that perhaps is a bigger achievement – his journey from a small time worker to the being the leader of a superpower.

Let’s first look at an experiment done by the American psychologist Martin Seligman. (This will help us gauge Abraham Lincoln’s story in a better way). He was experimenting with dogs and working on the theory developed by a fellow in the same field, Mr Ivan Pavlov. Long story short, Pavlov’s the guy who got dogs to salivate when they heard a bell. He introduced the world to the concept of ‘classical conditioning’ and so on and so forth. Martin, on the other hand, took this a step further.  In his experiment he formed two groups of the same set of the dogs  – say, group A and group B. The dogs in both the groups were placed in a chamber where they received electric shocks. The dogs in the group B could end their misery by pressing a lever whereas the dogs in the group A weren’t so lucky.

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