Don't miss the special BONUS offer during our Beta-test period. The next 100 new Registered Users (from a unique IP address), to post at least five (5) piglix, will receive 1,000 extra sign-up points (eventually exchangeable for crypto-currency)!

* * * * *    Free Launch Promotions    * * * * *

  • Free Ads! if you are a small business with annual revenues of less than $1M - will place your ads free of charge for up to one year! ... read more

  • $2,000 in free prizes! is giving away ten (10) Meccano Erector sets, retail at $200 each, that build a motorized Ferris Wheel (or one of 22 other models) ... see details

Locus of control

In personality psychology, locus of control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control. Understanding of the concept was developed by Julian B. Rotter in 1954, and has since become an aspect of personality studies. A person's "loci" (plural of "locus," Latin for "place" or "location") is conceptualized as internal (a belief that one's life can be controlled) or external (a belief that life is controlled by outside factors which they cannot influence, or that chance or fate controls their lives).

Individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life derive primarily from 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 generated much research in a variety of areas in psychology. The construct is applicable to such fields as educational psychology, health psychology and clinical psychology. Debate continues whether 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 concept linked with expectancies about the future) and attributional style (a concept linked with explanations for past outcomes), or between locus of control and concepts such as self-efficacy.

Locus of control is one of the four dimensions of core self-evaluations – one's fundamental appraisal of oneself – along with neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. The concept of core self-evaluations was first examined by Judge, Locke, and Durham (1997), and since has proven to have the ability to predict several work outcomes, specifically, job satisfaction and job performance. In a follow-up study, Judge et al. (2002) argued the concepts of locus of control, neuroticism, self-efficacy and self-esteem measured the same, single factor.

Weiner's attribution theory as
applied to student motivation
Perceived locus of control
Internal External
Attributions of
no control
Ability Chance/luck
Attributions of
Effort Task difficulty

  • Typical expectancy shifts, believing that success (or failure) would be followed by a similar outcome
  • Atypical expectancy shifts, believing that success (or failure) would be followed by a dissimilar outcome
  • Abramson, L.Y., Seligman, M.E.P., Teasdale, J.D. (1978). "Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation". Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 87 (1): 49–74. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.87.1.49. PMID 649856. 
  • Abramson, L.Y., Metasky, G.I., Alloy, L.B. (1989). "Hopelessness depression: A theory-based subtype of depression". Psychological Review. 96 (2): 358–72. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.96.2.358. 
  • Aldwin, C.M., Gilman, D.F. (2004). Health, Illness and Optimal Ageing. London: Sage. ISBN . 
  • Anderson, C. A., Jennings, D.L., Arnoult, L.H. (1988). "Validity and utility of the attributional style construct at a moderate level of specificity". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 55 (6): 979–90. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.55.6.979. 
  • Berry, J.W., Poortinga, Y.H.,Segall, M.H., Dasen, P.R. (1992). Cross-cultural Psychology: Research and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN . 
  • Buchanan, G.M.; Seligman, M.E.P., eds. (1997). Explanatory Style. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN . 
  • Burns, M., Seligman, M.E.P. (1989). "Explanatory style across the lifespan". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 56 (3): 471–7. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.56.3.471. PMID 2926642. 
  • Cutrona, C.E., Russell, D., Jones, R.D. (1985). "Cross-situational consistency in causal attributions: Does attributional style exist?". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 47 (5): 1043–1058. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.47.5.1043. 
  • Duttweiler, P.C. (1984). "The Internal Control Index: A Newly Developed Measure of Locus of Control". Educational and Psychological Measurement. 44 (2): 209–21. doi:10.1177/0013164484442004. 
  • Furnham, A., Steele, H. (1993). "Measures of Locus of Control: A critique of children's, health and work-related locus of control questionnaires". British Journal of Psychology. 84 (4): 443–79. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1993.tb02495.x. PMID 8298858. 
  • Eisner, J.E. (1997). "The origins of explanatory style: Trust as a determinant of pessimism and optimism". In Buchanan, G.M.; Seligman, M.E.P. Explanatory Style. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 49–55. ISBN . 
  • Gong-Guy, E., Hammen, C. (1980). "Causal perceptions of stressful events in depressed and nondepressed outpatients". Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 89 (5): 662–9. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.89.5.662. PMID 7410726. 
  • Holt, C.L., Clark, E.M., Kreuter, M.W., Rubio, D. (2003). "Spiritual Health locus of control and cancer beliefs among urban African American women". Health Psychology. 22 (3): 294–9. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.22.3.294. PMID 12790257. 
  • Kahoe, R. (1974). "Personality and achievement correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic religious orientations". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 29 (6): 812–8. doi:10.1037/h0036222. 
  • Lefcourt, H.M. (1966). "Internal versus external control of reinforcement: A review". Psychological Bulletin. 65 (4): 206–20. doi:10.1037/h0023116. PMID 5325292. 
  • Lefcourt, H.M. (1976). Locus of Control: Current Trends in Theory and Research. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN . 
  • Maltby, J., Day, L., Macaskill, A. (2007). Personality, Individual Differences and Intelligence (1st ed.). Harlow: Pearson Prentice Hall. ISBN . 
  • Meyerhoff, Michael K (2004). "Locus of Control". Pediatrics for Parents. 21 (10): 8.  EBSCO: 17453574
  • Norman, P., Antaki, C. (1988). "The Real Events Attributional Style Questionnaire". Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 7 (2–3): 97–100. doi:10.1521/jscp.1988.7.2-3.97. 
  • Norman, P., Bennett, P. (1995). "3. Health Locus of Control". In Conner, M.; Norman, P. Predicting Health Behaviour. Buckingham: Open University Press. pp. 62–94. 
  • Nowicki, S., Strickland, B. (1973). "A locus of control scale for children". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 42: 148–55. doi:10.1037/h0033978. 
  • Peterson, C., Semmel, A., von Baeyer, C., Abramson, L., Metalsky, G.I., Seligman, M.E.P. (1982). "The Attributional Style Questionnaire". Cognitive Therapy and Research. 6 (3): 287–9. doi:10.1007/BF01173577. 
  • Robbins and Hayes (1997). "The role of causal attributions in the prediction of depression". In Buchanan, G.M.; Seligman, M.E.P. Explanatory Style. NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 71–98. ISBN . 
  • Rotter, J.B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. NY: Prentice-Hall. 
  • Rotter, J.B. (1966). "Generalized expectancies of internal versus external control of reinforcements". Psychological Monographs. 80 (609). doi:10.1037/h0092976. 
  • Rotter, J.B. (1975). "Some problems and misconceptions related to the construct of internal versus external control of reinforcement". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 43: 56–67. doi:10.1037/h0076301. 
  • Rotter, J.B. (1990). "Internal versus external control of reinforcement: A case history of a variable" (PDF). American Psychologist. 45 (4): 489–93. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.45.4.489. 
  • Schultz, D.P., Schultz, S.E. (2005). Theories of Personality (8th ed.). Wadsworth: Thomson. ISBN . 
  • Sherer, M., Maddux, J.; et al. (1982). "The self-efficacy scale: Construction and validation". Psychological Reports. 51 (2): 663–71. doi:10.2466/pr0.1982.51.2.663. 
  • Shiraev, E., Levy, D. (2004). Cross-cultural Psychology: Critical Thinking and Contemporary Applications (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson. ISBN . 
  • Smith, R.E. (1989). "Effects of coping skills training on generalized self-efficacy and locus of control". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 56 (2): 228–33. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.56.2.228. PMID 2926626. 
  • Wallston, K.A., Wallston, B.S., Devellis, R. (1978). "Development of Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales". Health Education Monographs. 6 (2): 160–70. doi:10.1177/109019817800600107. PMID 689890. 
  • Weiner, B., ed. (1974). Achievement Motivation and Attribution Theory. NY: General Learning Press. 
  • Weiner, B. (1980). Human Motivation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 
  • Whyte, C., "An Integrated Counseling and Learning Assistance Center" (1980). New Directions Sourcebook-Learning Assistance Centers. Jossey-Bass, Inc.
  • Whyte, C. (January 1978). "Effective Counseling Methods for High-Risk College Freshmen". Measurement and Evaluation in Guidance. 6 (4): 198–200.  ERIC: EJ177217
  • Xenikou, A.; Furnham, A., McCarrey, M. (1997). "Attributional style for negative events: A proposition for a more valid and reliable measaure of attributional style". British Journal of Psychology. 88: 53–69. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1997.tb02620.x. 


Don't forget! that as one of our early users, you are eligible to receive the 1,000 point bonus as soon as you have created five (5) acceptable piglix.