In this article we will discuss about ‘Locus of Control’. After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Meaning of Locus of Control 2. Types of Locus of Control 3. Assumptions 4. Influence.
Meaning of Locus of Control:
Locus of control refers to one’s assumption about responsibility for good and bad events. Every person during his lifetime comes across some good and some had outcomes. While he acts to maximise the possibility of good outcomes and enjoys the success of his life, he tries to minimise the possibility of bad outcomes.
Types of Locus of Control:
Locus of control is of two types:
(1) Internal Locus of control,
(2) External Locus of control.
1. Internal Locus of Control:
When a person believes that he or she is able to act so as to maximise the possibility of good outcomes and to minimise the possibility of bad outcomes he is said to have internal locus of control.
2. External Locus of Control:
Those who are always at the mercy of luck, fate and unforeseen uncontrollable outside force and feel helpless all the time and never like to take the responsibility for their bad outcomes and miserable performances in life are said to have external locus of control.
Individual differences are seen in this regard. Some people are so made up that they always blame some outside force for their failure, while there are others who do not adopt this attitude. In this context Jullian hotter (1975) proposed the dimensions of locus of control.
According to the personality theory of Rotter behaviour occurs as a function of a person’s expectancy that the behaviour will result in reinforcement and the value expectancy he or she places on any particular reinforcement.
Assumptions of Locus of Control:
People try to maximize highly valued rewards and minimise extremely distasteful punishments. From the learning experience of the childhood some people develop an internal belief system that by sincerity, hard work and efforts and intelligent understanding of the situation, one can prosper.
On the other hand some people assume that success or failure of a person and other important event of his life is determined by chance, by luck and by other unknown factors.
Rotter (1966) has developed a scale which treats locus of control. Taking into consideration the dimension of personality as envisaged by Rotter, it was held that maladjustment should be associated with either extreme of this personality dimension. One could be maladjusted by assuming total helplessness or lack of responsibility or by believing that he is totally in control of life’s events.
However, researches conducted by Lian and Hedge, (1982) Raine, Roger and Venables (1982) indicate that internality is a more positive assert than externality since school children having the external dimension of personality are neurotic, impulsive and hyperactive.
In a study conducted on samples from US, India and Hong King, it was consistently found that externally oriented individuals who put the responsibility on external factors were characterized by self destruction behaviour like drinking, smoking and driving unsafely and more depressed.
Studies show that differences in locus of control are related to behaviour in competitive situations. People with internal orientation perform externals when competition is involved but they do not differ in a cooperative situation. On the contrary, competitive demands lead those with an external orientation to give up. Internals fail to conform and also resist the influences of experimenters and attempt to behave in ways contrary to what is expected.
It was further found that by and large, internals appear to be less inclined than externals to submit in an unquestioning manner to fellow members or to superiors. In their social interactions internals take steps to control the outcome. Internally oriented college females use more cosmetics than externals. Internality is positively related to success on school performance and achievement.
In actual work situations it is found that internals work harder and have relatively more job satisfaction in comparison to their external counterparts.
Influence of Locus of Control on Education:
Locus of control strongly influences the very process of education.
Locus of control is more or less stable like any other trait of personality. But some changes may occur depending upon the situations. In childhood internality increases with age. Also with increase in administrative experience internality increases.
Conversely, unfortunate incidents and extremely disrupting events in life increase externality. Some persons with strong self confidence and faith on competency and sincerity may shift to faith, luck and uncontrollable factors when they meet failures and frustrations in life events which are totally beyond their control like sudden death of near and dear ones, divorce, separation, health problems, constant failure in examinations, inability to get a job inspite of repeated attempts and many other similar factors. Ultimately such people loose hope in themselves and leave everything to fate, Lumpkin (1986) found that old age is characterized by externality.
Sometimes externality is necessary, particularly when one feels very helpless and has to give himself solace and by viewing that he is not personally responsible for such mistakes. By this the ego of the person is able to reduce and resolve a lot of anxiety.
In sum, for the growth of a normal and successful personality pattern children and adults should be taught to have better self concepts so that they can take active part in achieving things. They can have self confidence rather than feeling helpless and leaving everything to fate, to outside force so that they can be able to take up various responsibility in life. However, either extreme is undesirable.