Locus of Control

Topics: Locus of control, Attribution theory, Julian Rotter Pages: 3 (1072 words) Published: January 3, 2013
Locus of control
Locus of control is a theory in personality psychology referring to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them. Understanding of the concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, and has since become an important aspect of personality studies. One's "locus" (Latin for "place" or "location") can either be internal (meaning the person believes that they control their life) or external (meaning they believe that their environment, some higher power, or other people control their decisions and their life). Individuals with a high internal locus of control believe that events result primarily from their own behavior and actions. For example, if a person with internal loci of control does not perform as well as they wanted to on a test, they would blame it on lack of preparedness on their part. Or if they performed well on a test, then they would think that it was because they studied enough.[1] Those with a high external locus of control believe that powerful others, fate, or chance primarily determine events. Using the test performance example again, if a person with external loci of control does poorly on a test, they would blame the test questions being too difficult. Whereas if they performed well on a test, they would think the teacher was being lenient, or that they were lucky.[1] Those with a high internal locus of control have better control of their behavior, tend to exhibit more political behaviors,[2] and are more likely to attempt to influence other people than those with a high external (or low internal respectively) locus of control. Those with a high internal locus of control are more likely to assume that their efforts will be successful. They are more active in seeking information and knowledge concerning their situation. History of concept

Locus of control is the framework of Rotter's (1954) social learning theory of personality. Lefcourt (1976) defined perceived locus of control as...
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