• Summary
  • Contents
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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 Individual Differences in Perceived Control Develop?
How do individual differences in perceived control develop?

For most researchers interested in individual differences, the only developmental question that matters is, “Where did these individual differences come from?” If one assumes that after individual differences emerge, they crystallize and remain stable, then no more developmental issues need be explored. If, however, one assumes, as I do, that perceived control is a set of beliefs that not only guides action but also is open to revision based on experience and its interpretation, then stability, even if found empirically, must itself be explained. Hence, for developmentalists, the interesting question is, “Where do differences in these individual trajectories, in these patterns of change over time, come from?” (see Baltes, Reese, ...

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