• 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 ...

How Do Social Contexts Promote and Undermine Control?
How do social contexts promote and undermine control?

Although contexts don't “give” children or adults control, they can provide opportunities for people to exercise control. Or, too often, they can discourage or prevent individuals from experiencing control. Ways in which the social context promotes and undermines control have been studied in both experimental and naturalistic settings of child-rearing, teaching, coaching, medicine, marriage, management, coping, retirement, and caring for institutionalized elderly. Studies examine the effects of interpersonal contingencies, such as parental responsiveness, teacher performance feedback, or support from institutional caregivers, as well as task parameters, such as failure feedback, workload, difficulty level, or noncontingency. What does this research reveal about the social contexts of control? Are there certain necessary ...

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