• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

At every point in the life span, individual differences in a sense of control are strong predictors of motivation, coping, success, and failure in a wide range of life domains. What are the origins of these individual differences, how do they develop, and what are the mechanisms by which they exert such influence on psychological functioning? This book draws on theories and research covering key control constructs, including self-efficacy, learned helplessness, locus of control, and attribution theory. Ellen A. Skinner discusses such issues as the origins of control in social interactions; environmental features that promote or undermine control; developmental change in the mechanisms by which experiences of control have their effects on action; and the implications for intervening into the competence system, including interventions for ...

What is Perceived Control?
What is perceived control?

Somewhere between the conditions of slavery and omnipotence the mass of humanity lives out ordinary lives, each person seeking to master his or her part of the world, and in the course of this developing beliefs about how it works, and who, or what controls the events of life.

Orville G. Brim, Jr. (1974, p. 1)

Perceived control is a powerful construct. Five decades of research have established it as a robust predictor of people's behavior, emotion, motivation, performance, and success and failure in many domains of life (for reviews see Baltes & Baltes, 1986; Brim, 1974; H. Heckhausen, 1991; Lefcourt, 1981, 1983; Peterson, 1980; Strickland, 1989). Perceived control consistently predicts behaviors as diverse as adherence to medical regimes and ...

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