Locus of Control

Julian Rotter“Julian Rotter (October 22, 1916 – January 6, 2014) was an American psychologist known for developing social learning theory and research into locus of control. He was a faculty member at Ohio State University and then the University of Connecticut. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Rotter as the 64th most eminent and 18th most widely cited psychologist of the 20th century. A 2014 study published in 2014 placed at #54 among psychologists whose careers spanned the post-World War II era. Locus of Control is the degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces (beyond their influence), have control over the outcome of events in their lives. The concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954 and has since become an aspect of personality psychology. A person’s “locus” is conceptualized as internal (a belief that one can control one’s own life) or external (a belief that life is controlled by outside factors which the person cannot influence, or that chance or fate controls their life).

Individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life are primarily a result of their own actions: for example, when receiving exam results, people with an internal locus of control tend to praise or blame themselves and their abilities. People with a strong external locus of control tend to praise or blame external factors such as the teacher or the exam. Locus of control has generated much research in a variety of areas in psychology. The construct is applicable to such fields as educational psychology, health psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and clinical psychology. Debate continues whether domain-specific or more global measures of locus of control will prove to be more useful in practical application. Careful distinctions should also be made between locus of control (a personality variable linked with generalized expediencies about the future) and attributional style (a concept concerning explanations for past outcomes), or between locus of control and concepts such as self-efficacy.” (Wiki)

Wheel of Life Mandala“Locus of control is a personality trait that refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events in their lives. Individuals with a strong locus of control believe that they can control their own destiny and that their own actions determine the outcomes of their lives. Individuals with a weak locus of control, on the other hand, believe that their lives are controlled by outside forces, such as fate or luck. The concept of locus of control was first introduced by Julian B. Rotter in 1954 and has since been widely studied by psychologists. There is evidence to suggest that locus of control is a stable personality trait that remains relatively consistent over time. Individuals tend to develop a locus of control orientation in childhood and adolescence and carry this orientation into adulthood. There are also individual differences in locus of control, with some people having a stronger locus of control than others. Locus of control has been found to be related to a number of important outcomes, including mental and physical health, academic achievement, and job satisfaction. Individuals with a strong locus of control are more likely to experience better mental and physical health, as they believe that they have the power to change their health behaviors. They are also more likely to persist in the face of setbacks and to recover from setbacks more quickly. Individuals with a strong locus of control also tend to have higher academic achievement, as they believe that their own efforts determine their success in school. Finally, individuals with a strong locus of control are more satisfied with their jobs, as they believe that they have the power to affect their job satisfaction. Overall, the evidence suggests that locus of control is an important personality trait that is related to a number of important outcomes. Individuals who believe that they can control their own destiny tend to experience better mental and physical health, higher academic achievement, and greater job satisfaction.” (TEWAI)

The Eclectic Way embraces Locus of Control as a way to achieve balance through self-discovery. Conscious awareness is raised by examining the internal and external forces which influence behaviors and activities. (TEW)

References:

Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80(1), 128.
Lefcourt, H. M. (1976). Locus of control and learned helplessness. In J. Garber & M. E. P. Seligman (Eds.), Human Helplessness: Theory and Applications (pp. 3150). New York, NY: Academic Press.
Bandura, A. (1977). Selfefficacy: Towards a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191215.
Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco, CA: Freeman.
Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processes affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41(10), 10401048.

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