Psychology Journal Summary
December 18th, 2013
Summary of the article " Internal - External Control and Reaction to Threat"
Researchers at the Kansas State University conducted a Internal - External scale experiment on 225 students in several class on campus. The sample was divided into two groups: 19 externals - 14 females and 5 males, and 21 internals - 13 females and 8 males. They were provided parts of the Roschach, the Thematic Apperception Test (T A T), the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and the Rcpression-Sensitization (R-S) scale to access their personality. After that they were administered individually-typed, brief reports containing both positive and threatening analysis on their personality.
The hypothesis of this research was that the distinction between internals and externals would lead them to react to threat in different ways. An interesting concept shown in the article was the relationship between internal - external and psychopathological phenomena. An external may use rationalization of outside, uncontrollable forces as a means to escape punishment for failure, for the responsibility has shifted from subjective factor to external agents. The results of the tests showed that internals tend to pay attention to and recall materials present in the environment immediately after they face a problem. They are more superior than externals with respect to actively seeking information relevant to problem solving, and they are also better at utilizing them. Overall the hypothesis extends to suggesting that internals had a higher tendency to directly confront the problem than externals. Another interesting finding was that internals were more likely to forget failures. Because internals view themselves as being entirely responsible for the failure, forgetting it is a way of avoidance. In contrast, externals put the responsibility on forces outside of themselves, so they already have the rationalization for their failures, thus failures appear