Locus of Control (Psychology)

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  • An individual's beliefs about the source of responsibility for life events and, consequently, the individual's general expectancies about whether his or her efforts can bring about desired outcomes and reinforcements. Locus of control can be internal or external. People with an internal locus of control attribute responsibility for life events internally to themselves and believe that they can obtain reinforcements through work and effort. People with an external locus of control attribute responsibility for life events externally to themselves and believe that reinforcements are controlled by external forces beyond their control. Rotter's (1966) Internal-External Scale is a psychological inventory used to measure an individual's general locus of control. Locus of control has generated much psychological research and has important applications to clinical psychology, the health ...

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