• 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 ...

Are All Perceived Control Constructs the Same?
Are all perceived control constructs the same?

When approaching the area, it is easy to be daunted by the thicket of constructs clustered around the general notion of a sense of control. Are they all similar, are they simply “control by any other name” (Rodin, 1990)? Or, are they completely different, examining separate facets of the experience of control? Careful reading suggests that they are somehow distinctive but also somehow interrelated, maybe even overlapping. How can one begin to think about these constructs, let alone make a decision about their usefulness, until their relative roles in the process of control are clarified?

The notion that humans have an inborn need for competence has interesting implications for sorting out different theories ...

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