Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Locus of Control
Jean M. Twenge
Who determines one's fate? Is it the person or outside forces beyond the person's control? This question lies at the root of the concept of locus of control. People who believe they are in control of their destinies have an internal locus of control (internals). Those who believe that luck and powerful others determine their fate have an external locus of control (externals). Locus of control is usually measured by questionnaires, just as personality traits are; however, locus of control is more an attitude than a trait—it measures how one thinks the world works. Some researchers have called locus of control a generalized expectancy —in other words, a person's usual expectation about how things work. One of the first locus of control measures was Julian Rotter's Internal-External Locus of Control Scale, first published in 1966 and used in thousands of articles. Rotter's measure consists of 23 forced-choice pairs; the respondent ...