Locus of Control

Topics: Attribution theory, Locus of control, Social psychology Pages: 16 (4438 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Locus of control
Roberto G. Edillo Jr.
University of San Carlos

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for Psychology 115 Ms. Ruby Ilustrisimo
March 24, 2011

300 participants who are students from the University of San Carlos are asked to answer a 60-item questionnaire each. 159 of them are males and 141 are females. The purpose of the survey is to test the reliability of the newly developed tool for measuring the degree of locus of control among individuals. This is in lieu to the Locus of control scale of Rotter (1966). The data collection is done through snowball and convenience sampling. The data is encoded in SPSS, and the test got a .699 standardized Cronbach’s alpha on the 60-item questionnaire, and .876 standardized cronbach’s alpha when 30 questions were weeded out. The implication is that the tool is reliable in measuring the degree of locus of control.


People vary in the way they attribute events, circumstances and certain happenings. It is somewhat puzzling to know why people differ in the way they view certain causes of events. Could this be something that is influenced by their different personalities? Some people may attribute a certain happening to their lives as consequences of their actions, but there are also some people who point towards external factors or situations to be the primary cause of the occurrence of certain events. The way people perceive or blame causes of certain happenings is called Attribution. In social psychology, attribution is referred as the way people perceive and interpret the causes of events and how this relates to their thinking and behavior. Attributions could range from dispositional to something which is uncontrollable and external. However, this paper does not intend to focus on attribution but on certain factors that influence attribution which is called Locus of Control. Locus or Loci of control according to Rotter (1966) refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them. It is the extent to which people perceive outcomes as internally controllable by their own efforts and actions or as externally controlled by chance or outside forces (Myers, 2006). There are two types of locus of control namely; Internal and External locus of control. These two loci of control influence how people attribute or perceive the causes of events. How these two facets of Locus of control vary among people is the primary aim of this paper. This paper aims to provide the readers the information about the past findings using this construct. Also, this does not intend to make a new study but only to provide a scaffold for future researches that might delve into this same construct.

Literature Review
The first point in this literature review is to discuss about why people make attributions since the concern of locus of control lies primarily on people’s attribution. It’s somehow perplexing to think why people make attributions or perceive the causes of certain events differently. Is it somewhat a part of our social need? Does it imply something if we attribute the cause of things differently? Are attributions of people influenced by their different personalities? The first point aims to answer these questions and discuss why attributions occur. The second major point however would talk about the two loci of control namely; Internal and External locus of control. Explaining how these two loci of control work is the main premise of this major point. Tackling their differences is also touched in this part. Lastly, the third major point will discuss what possible personality traits could be linked and correlated with the two loci of control. This part will also discuss why such personality traits link to either Internal or External locus of control. The information that is placed in this literature review is gathered and done through traditional approach. This denotes...
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