Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Locus of Control

  • Andrew J. P. FrancisEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_225

The Locus of Control (LOC) of reinforcement construct was originally developed by Rotter (1954, 1966) within the framework of his Social Learning Theory, along a unidimensional internal-external continuum. An important elaboration by Levenson (1981) divided the external contingencies into separate “powerful others” and “chance” dimensions. Broadly, the LOC construct measures the degree to which people believe that reinforcements (rewards and punishments) from the environment are contingent on their own efforts, actions, and personal decisions (internal LOC) on the one hand versus luck, fate, external circumstance, and powerful others (external LOC) on the other. A more internal LOC is generally positively associated with a range of indices of psychological and physical health. It is argued that many of these positive health effects reflect the adoption of more positive coping strategies in such individuals. Conversely, externality is typically associated with negative coping styles...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychology, School of Health SciencesRMIT UniversityBundooraAustralia