Locus of Control

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Behaviorism & Social Cognitive Theory:

Behaviorism & Social Cognitive Theory You’re B.F. Skinner. How do you explain personality development? You’re Albert Bandura. How do you explain personality development?

Perception of Control and Personality Formation:

Perception of Control and Personality Formation

Personal Control:

Personal Control Social-cognitive researchers ask, How do people’s perception of control over their lives impact their personality characteristics?

Locus of Control:

Locus of Control Proposed by Julian B. Rotter Latin for “location” or “source” The extent to which we feel we are in control of our lives Take the Locus of Control Scale

Locus of Control Scale:

Locus of Control Scale Add up your scores in each column A higher score on the left = Internal Locus of Control A higher score on the right = External Locus of Control

Locus of Control:

Locus of Control Internal LOC Perception that we control our own destiny External LOC Perception that chance or outside forces beyond one’s personal control determine one’s fate.

Research on Locus of Control:

Research on Locus of Control Internals : Greater achievement in school Act more independently More effective in influencing their environment Less susceptible to control & influence from others Less likely to conform

Research on Locus of Control:

Research on Locus of Control Internals : Exhibit greater self-control (better at delaying gratification) More likely to engage in physical exercise More able to cope with stress

What fosters internality?:

What fosters internality? In your groups, brainstorm a list of factors that could lead to an internal locus of control.

What fosters internality?:

What fosters internality? Research suggests: Family environments characterized by warmth, protection, & nurturance Consistent parental behavior Firstborns tend to be more internal

What fosters externality?:

What fosters externality? In your groups, brainstorm a list of factors that could lead to an external locus of control.

Learned Helplessness:

Learned Helplessness Feeling of helplessness that is commonly learned after repeated experiences of having no control Passive acceptance of repeated “punishment” Martin Seligman (1975, 1991)

Common Sites of Learned Helplessness:

Common Sites of Learned Helplessness Prisons Nursing homes Among any individual or group with limited access to social power or material resources Low SES Low SES + minority membership

Important Notes::

Important Notes: It’s too simplistic to think that Internal LOC is good and External LOC is bad Internals can be psychologically unhealthy & unstable

PowerPoint Presentation:

An internal orientation usually needs to be matched by competence, self-efficacy and opportunity so that the person is able to successfully experience the sense of personal control and responsibility. Overly internal people who lack competence, efficacy and opportunity can become neurotic, anxious and depressed.  In other words, internals need to have a realistic sense of their circle of influence in order to experience 'success'. Externals can lead easy-going, relaxed, happy lives.