Control Motivation


Control motivation refers to the motive to exercise at least some control over important events in our lives. The extent to which control motivation is innate or learned remains a point of discussion. But many psychologists argue that virtually all people are motivated to establish a sense of mastery, that is, to see themselves as capable individuals who can exert some influence over events and outcomes. This motive is also sometimes referred to as effectance motivation.

Positive Aspects of Personal Control

An abundance of research suggests that people generally prefer to control the events in their lives and that exercising control is good for people's well-being. Even in situations in which individuals exercise little control, simply believing that they could exert control usually causes people to feel ...

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