Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Locus of Control
Eddie M. Clark
The construct locus of control, also referred to as perceived control, is one of the most studied and cited dispositional constructs in psychology and the social behavioral sciences, and it plays an important role in public health research and health behavior interventions. Locus of control may be either internal or external. Rotter (1990) explains this distinction in terms of the degree to which people assume that the results of their behavior depend on their own actions or personal characteristics rather than on chance, luck, or the influence of powerful others. The popularity of the locus of control construct in health research is demonstrated by the existence of almost 2,500 publications in the PsycInfo database for the years 1967 to 2006, which are indexed by the combination of keywords locus of control and health. The locus of control construct is rooted in social learning theory, and the foundation for this work ...