External Locus Of Control Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is External Locus Of Control?
An external locus of control is a belief that one’s life is largely beyond their control and instead shaped by luck, chance or powerful others. People with an external locus of control tend to think that the outcomes in their lives are determined more by outside forces than by any effort on their part. This means they may struggle to take responsibility for themselves or feel helpless when faced with challenging experiences. In contrast, those with an internal locus of control believe they can shape their own destiny through hard work, commitment and taking responsibility for the choices they make. The concept of external locus of control was first developed in the 1960s by Julian Rotter as part of his social learning theory. It has since been studied extensively and found to be linked to psychological issues such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. Those with an external locus of control often have negative reactions to stressful situations because they don’t think there is anything they can do about them; this lack of perceived agency leads to feelings of helplessness which in turn exacerbates stress levels even further. It is possible to develop a more internalised approach towards life if you find yourself stuck in an externally focused mindset; this involves actively trying to identify areas where your decisions will make a difference (e.g., how you manage your time) and then working hard at these tasks. Taking ownership over smaller goals can help build confidence which then allows us to tackle bigger challenges head-on rather than avoiding them altogether due to feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. It also helps us take back some degree of autonomy from what might otherwise seem like uncontrollable circumstances something we all need during difficult times.