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Are you the master of your fate?
Transcript of Are you the master of your fate?
‘Are you the master of your own fate?’
Julian Rotter, claimed that people had a lot of differences when it comes to whether they think they are responsible for something that happens to them
External locus of control= when you think that things are controlled by luck, fate or powerful others
Internal locus of control= when you think things are controlled by your own behaviour and what you do Method Rotter made I-E scale containing 23 pairs of statements
One reflected internal locus of control
The other reflected external locus of control
any of the unhappy things in people’s lives are partly due to bad luck
People’s misfortunes result from the mistakes they make
Participants then had to choose which one they believed in
6 filler (unrelated) items were added to make sure participants didn’t know the objective of the test
Rotter then tried to find a correlation between an individual’s score on I-E scale and their interaction in life events Discussion Cultural differences
Ex. a US isolated community consisting of Ute Indians (most external), Mexican Americans, and whites (most internal)
Lower socioeconomic status = Greater externality
Variations in parenting styles
Unpredictable/inconsistent rewards and punishments lead external LOC Results Recent Applications The following results are summed from several studies that used the I-E scale in various forms, all of which found significant correlations between I-E scores and different life events.
Internal LOC: prefer betting on “sure things”
External LOC: gamble more money on risky bets and are likely to engage in “gambler’s fallacy”
Internals were more aware of physical conditions than externals Political Activism
African-American students who participated in civil rights movements in the 1960s were more oriented towards internal LOC.
Internals were significantly more successful at altering other’s attitudes and were more resistant towards manipulation of attitude by others. Smoking
Smokers tended to be significantly more external than non smokers.
Smokers who quit smoking after viewing warnings that appear on cigarette packs were more internally oriented.
Achievement-oriented factors were more likely to be found in students with internal LOC.
Internals conformed less than externals in terms of making judgments that are contrary to the majority. 3 Sources of LOC LOC is a definable characteristic of individuals that operates fairly consistently across various situations.
LOC will influence different people to behave differently when faced with the same situation.
LOC can be measured; I-E Scale is an effective tool for doing so. Internals are more likely to:
Gain information from situations and use it to improve future behaviors
Initiate changes and improve life conditions
Place greater value on inner skill and achievement of goals
Resist manipulation by others Health
Strickland (1978): Internals take more responsibility in their own health, engage in more healthy behaviors, and practice greater care in avoiding accidents
Internals experience less stress and its related illnesses Parenting styles
Parents of internals: affectionate, consistent with discipline, teach children to take responsibility for their actions
Parents of externals: authoritarian and restrictive, give less opportunity for personal control Sims & Baumann (1972):
LOC explains why there is more death from tornados in Alabama than in Illinois
People in Alabama are more external
Internality promotes behaviors that are more likely to save lives e.g. paying attention to the news & alerting others Recent research  related to Rotter’s locus of control (LOC) theory:
LOC and depression
external LOC feeling helpless, hopeless susceptible to depression
LOC and chronic physical pain
external LOC ‘felt’ more pain & feel unable to cope with it
LOC and religious belief
external LOC + strong faith in God less likely to feel depressed/hopeless
Other areas of application: PTSD, academic performance, alcoholism, coping with stress, etc. Conclusion Internal/External LOC = a relatively stable personality trait that can predict the person’s behavior in various situations (measured using Rotter’s I-E scale)
Key = a balance between internal & external LOC.
People with internal LOC tend to have more well-adjusted and effective lives…
But they must also realize and accept that sometimes there will be situations which they cannot control/change. Subsequent Research Questions Julius Rotter explained this phenomenon using the Social learning theory
As a child you learn things through reinforcement. Sometimes the reinforcement will appear as a reaction to your behavior, other times not.
As you grow up you will create an expectancy of whether things are internally or externally controlled based on your experiences.
Rotter believes that these differences in behavior are constant and affect a persons future behavior in almost all situations Rotter wanted to then measure how this trait (internal vs. external) affected behavior
1. Predicted that a test can be develop to measure this trait
2. Predicted that people will display individual differences in their reasoning of the cause of events Theoretical Propositions Rotter's research suggests that having an internal LOC is more beneficial than external LOC. But are there some advantages of having an external LOC?
Are Thais more oriented towards an internal or external locus of control? Does our culture reflect Rotter's findings?
Is it possible to change your locus of control from external to internal through psychological interventions? What are ways to achieve this?
Are there any other possible source of LOC apart from culture, SES, and parenting styles.