Locus of control is a psychological concept that refers to the degree to which individuals believe that they can control or influence events that affect them. It was first introduced by psychologist Julian B. Rotter in the 1950s. The concept is a part of Rotter’s social learning theory and is often used to understand personality and behavior.

There are two main types of locus of control:

  1. Internal Locus of Control:
    • Individuals with an internal locus of control believe that they have a significant degree of control over their own lives and the outcomes of their actions.
    • They tend to attribute success or failure to their own abilities, efforts, and decisions.
    • Internals are more likely to take responsibility for their actions and are generally more confident and motivated.
  2. External Locus of Control:
    • On the other hand, individuals with an external locus of control believe that external forces, such as luck, fate, or powerful others, have a greater influence on the events in their lives.
    • They may attribute success or failure to luck, chance, or external factors beyond their control.
    • Externals may feel less in control of their destinies and may be more prone to feelings of helplessness and dependence on others.

Locus of control is a continuum rather than a dichotomy, meaning that individuals can fall at different points along the spectrum between internal and external control. It is also context-dependent, as a person may have an internal locus of control in certain areas of their life and an external locus of control in others.

The concept of locus of control has been applied in various fields, including psychology, education, and business, to understand individual differences in behavior, motivation, and coping strategies. It’s important to note that an extreme internal or external locus of control may have implications for mental health, achievement, and overall well-being.

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