Self Portrait

Topics: Locus of control, Julian Rotter, Learned helplessness Pages: 6 (2139 words) Published: February 10, 2011
Alyssa Walker
Assignment #4

Black, White, and Color

Who am I? That is the hardest question to answer for a college freshman. In a sense my life has just begun. I am finally on my own trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do with my life. Does anyone find out who they are as a person at the age of eighteen? This is the age where a major transition is made from teen to a legal adult. I am going from being a child to being on my own making my own decisions. When I look at myself I see so many different things, some are things I learned in the past and I carry with me and others are things I hope to achieve or become. In Core 110 this year I learned that I could connect myself into what we were learning through studying psychology and science. At the beginning of the year I didn’t understand why we were learning psychology and science together but now I understand they go together. Without science there would be no psychological evidence and without psychology scientist would not be able to test certain theories. Because of Core 110 I can look deeper into myself by the insight I gained by studying psychology and science.

In the book Forty Studies That Changed Psychology, by Roger Hock, he discusses Julian Rotter’s Locus of control theory of how individuals place the responsibility for what happens to them. Rotter explains that there are two types of people: internal locus of control and external locus of control (Hock 192). “When people interpret the consequences of their behavior to be controlled by luck, fate, or powerful others, this indicates a belief in what Rotter called an external locus of control. Conversely, he maintained that if people interpret their own choices and personality as responsible for their behavioral consequences, they believe in internal locus of control” (Hock 192). This is basically saying do you believe that your destiny is controlled by yourself or by external forces?

Rotter believed that if a person’s likelihood to view events from an internal, versus an external, locus of control is fundamental to who we are and can be explained from a social learning theory perspective (Hock 192). “In his view, as a person develops from infancy through childhood, behaviors in a given situation are learned because they are followed by some form or reward, or reinforcement” (192 Hock). From the rewards and reinforcements you learn from as a child follow you throughout life and make you develop an external or internal interpretation of the consequences of your behavior. Rotter wanted to demonstrate two points; first, make a test to measure how individuals posses an internal or an external locus of control orientation towards life. Second, is to show how internals and externals display differences in their interpretations of the causes of reinforcements in the same situations (Hock 193). Rotter came up with a test called the I-E Scale, which measured the extent to which a person possesses the personality characteristics of internal or external locus of control. He did this by asking certain questions that internal people would only answer a certain way and vice versa for the external people (Hock 193).

In Rotter’s theory of locus of control I believe I have an internal locus of control because I control my own fate and destiny. My parent were very strict and always made sure I knew from right and wrong or else I would be punished. I grew up realizing I wouldn’t win the lottery and I had to work hard to become successful. My locus of control is very grounded and I don’t believe in luck. My portrait shows me on the playground looking towards the city in the background. It shows my goals and what I want to achieve but I am still in black and white; I’m not there yet. Being at college has only given me a taste of what it means to be an adult and be independent. I will one day achieve all my goals, but until then I’m still a kid stuck on the playground until one day I...
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