Locus of Control


Locus of control is a personality construct referring to an individual's perception of the locus of events as determined internally by his/her own behavior vs. fate, luck, or external circumstances.

Some research (McCombs, 1991) suggests that what underlies the internal locus of control is the concept of "self as agent." This means that our thoughts control our actions and that when we realize this executive function of thinking we can positively affect our beliefs, motivation, and academic performance. "The self as agent can consciously or unconsciously direct, select, and regulate the use of all knowledge structures and intellectual processes in support of personal goals, intentions, and choices" (p. 6). McCombs asserts that "the degree to which one chooses to be self-determining is a function of one's realization of the source of agency and personal control" (p. 7). In other words, we can say to ourselves, "I choose to direct my thoughts and energies toward accomplishment. I choose not to be daunted by my anxieties or feelings of inadequacy."

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