Acceptance of What Can't Be Changed Is Key To Satisfaction In Later Life, Research Shows When it comes to life satisfaction in one's later years, the ability to accept what cannot be changed is equally important to the feeling of being able to exert control over one's life according to research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies and summaries here in the Huffington Post, July 12, 2013.
Designing Your Own Workspace Improves Health, Happiness and Productivity Employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier -- they're also up to 32% more productive according to research by Craig Knight at the University of Exeter and summarized in this article from Science Daily, September 8, 2010.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy Writer Maria Konnikova describes the link between expectations and outcomes for cynics and optimists, while incorporating research on locus of control, learned helplessness, depressive realism, perceived control, optimism, pessimism, self-fulfilling prophesies and more. From The New Yorker, June 18, 2014.
How Your Locus of Control Drives Your Success (and Stress) Though generally people with an internal locus of control fare better in life, an extreme internal orientation can become a problem unless it is tempered by competence, self-efficacy, and opportunity or else people may become neurotic, anxious, and depressed. From Business Insider, July 30, 2014.
Reacting to Personal Setbacks: Do You Bounce Back or Give Up? Sometimes when people get upsetting news – such as a failing exam grade or a negative job review – they decide instantly to do better the next time. In other situations that are equally disappointing, the same people may feel inclined to just give up. How can similar setbacks produce such different reactions? It may come down to how much control we feel we have over what happened according to new research mapping brain activity using fMRI scans published in the journal Neuron and summarized here in Science Daily, September 4, 3014.
What is Locus of Control? by James Neill, Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra, Australia.
Social Learning Theory of Julian Rotter Jack Mearns at the University of California at Fullerton provides this overview of Rotter and Social Learning Theory. Includes biography, bibliography, and theory, including the predictive BP = f(E & RV) formula.
Assignments, Exercises, and Activities
Psychology Labs: Motivation: What is your Locus of Control Marcia Wehr at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida, has put together this extensive on-line course on Personality and Personal Growth. In this lab, students do online research on motivation and take a measure of locus of control.
Examples and Illustrations
Lecture Outline including exercises for introducing the concept of Locus of Control, by James Neill, Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra, Australia.
Tests, Measures, and Scales
Desirability of Control Scale From Burger, J. M., & Cooper, H. M. (1979). The desirability of control. Motivation and Emotion, 3, 381‑393, this 20-item scales measures individual differences in the general desire for control over events in one's life. Opens in Microsoft Word (doc) format. See Burger & Cooper (1979). Opens in PDF format.
Health Locus of Control scale and theory based on the theories of Julian Rotter. From Barbara S. Wallston, Kenneth A. Wallston, Gordon D. Kaplan, and Shirley A. Maides (1976). See for background information.
Locus of Control Here is a link to the 29-item Locus of Control Scale by Julian Rotter. The site includes a scoring key.
On-line Locus of Control Scale Here is a link to the 13-item Locus of Control Scale by Julian Rotter. This version provides a total score and discusses what high or low scores mean, but does not include a scoring key.
Locus of Control and Attributional Styles Test Discovery Health presents this online version of a 10-item locus of control scale with scoring and feedback. However, the real fun begins when you are asked to take the 47-item long version including scales measuring optimistic and pessimistic explanatory style, the three dimensions of internal-external, stable-unstable, global-specific, career and academic locus of control, belief in luck, health locus of control and more. All scales are scored automatically and feedback is provided.
Audio and Video
Control and Culture: Sheena Iyengar, Psycho-Economist On the Art of Choosing For Americans, choosing is a way of asserting our individuality, while in other cultures deferring to the choices of respected others is a way of creating community and fostering harmony. Her her talk about her work on choice, locus of control, and culture, including the famous 24 varieties of jam study, in this TED talk. (Posted July 2010. Duration: 24:05)
Locus of Control from Two Guys On Your Head Two Guys on Your Head is a short feature, produced at KUT Radio, that explores topics associated with the brain. In this episode, University of Texas Professors Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain what locus of control is and review the evidence which suggests that though people differ in their view of reality believing that they have control over their outcomes or not, we can change our perceptions to cope better --- even giving up control as circumstances warrant. (Audio; runs 8 minutes).