Locus of control is defined as individuals’ beliefs about the degree of influence they have over what happens to them. The term was coined by clinical psychologist Julian Rotter in 1954 and is a joint feature to his social learning theory. Locus of control is important to human communication because it has been tied to individuals’ perceptions of how reinforcement in social situations may affect their behavior in the future. It is also a significant factor in the overall worldview and belief system of an individual. This entry details how locus of control is related to operant conditioning that may shape behavior, the types of locus of control that individuals may display, and how locus of control has been shown to affect different domains of ...

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