The Expectancy of Control as a Distal Mediator of LH Effects

  • Mario Mikulincer
Part of the The Springer Series in Social/Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


A coping analysis of LH effects should not only take into account the way coping strategies alter performance, but also specify the sequence of events in a causal chain that begins with helplessness training and ends with the undertaking of coping strategies. According to my coping conceptualization of human LH, the expectancy of control is an important factor that intervenes in the above sequence, determines the type of coping strategy that a person will undertake, and thereby determines the type of the resulting LH effects (reactance or LH deficits). The expectancy construct has had a long history in psychology and provides the cornerstone in cognitive theories of coping (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). It involves the assessment of what one can do to cope with a particular failure, and it helps people to choose among coping alternatives. The expectancy of control acts as a “psychological watershed” (Carver & Scheier, 1981) in that it directs a general coping effort to particular coping strategies.


Causal Attribution Expectancy Change Test Task Attributional Style Questionnaire Global Attribution 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Mikulincer
    • 1
  1. 1.Bar-Ilan UniversityRamat GanIsrael

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