What is a locus of control ?

What is a locus of control ?

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This is a discussion on What is a locus of control ? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; My therapist asked me to read about it, from what I have read so far there is the internal locus ...

  1. #1

    What is a locus of control ?

    My therapist asked me to read about it, from what I have read so far there is the internal locus of control and external LOC ? But what I have read about the external locus of control is that people who tend to have one blame luck, fate for the way they are living their lives.

    Now, I don't happen to believe in luck and fate but I do believe in privilege and circumstances which differ from person to person.

    As an INTP, do we 'usually' have an external LOC or an internal one ?
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  2. #2

    Sooo.... What's the internal one?

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  3. #3

    Just googled it... Maybe it should have been obvious to me that it was the reverse of what you had explained an external one to be.

    "A person with an internal locus of control believes that he or she can influence events and their outcomes, while someone with an external*locus of control*blames outside forces for everything. This concept was brought to light in the 1950's by Julian Rotter."

    I didn't know what is typical for an INTP , I think I'm the only one I know but I have an internal locus of control based on the above.

    believing I have no control over the outcome of situations does not compute. I could not say anything is down to luck or fate, although I do sometimes envy the freedom of mind an external locus of control (believing everything happens for a reason, if it's meant to be it's meant to be etc) seems to give people that are that way inclined / have that view / are born thinking that way etc.



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  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by PryorsHayes View Post
    Sooo.... What's the internal one?

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    You take responsibility for the things that have happened in your life, or worse that you blame yourself for everything.
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  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by subzhero View Post
    You take responsibility for the things that have happened in your life, or worse that you blame yourself for everything.
    Ah this is very interesting.

    So I strongly hold myself accountable for my decisions past and present but I'm guessing you are talking about something specific?

    Both what you described and the excerpt I posted do not refer solidly to the past nor do they talk about blame.

    I've been told that I am hard on myself so I don't know what is the norm. I don't blame myself for everything though, I'd summarise my position with the following example:

    If I grew up poor because my parents were alcoholics that's not my fault.

    If I became an alcoholic and didn't work to provide for my children (because fate, blame it on genetics, it's all I've been shown - external locus of control) then that's my fault.

    If I saw what happened to my parents and that it caused us to be poor and unhappy and I decided that I didn't have to go that way, educated myself (not necessarily through school) and got a good job to provide for my family (internal locus of control) then that's my fault.

    Make sense?







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  6. #6

    I should caveat that that one paragraph and what you explained is all I have on this and that this is only my take on it. I'm subbed to see what others think.

    Would be good to know what is the healthiest mental state. I'd love to feel not accountable!

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  7. #7

    In psychology, locus of control is the area one believes is responsible for why negative things happen. A healthy person has about an even amount of internal locus of control and external locus of control.

    One unhealthy manifestation is a person who has an overabundance of internal locus of control. Here's what that looks like:

    "It's all my fault"
    "I better not do this because I'll screw it up anyway."
    (Upon stubbing one's toe) "I'm so clumsy!"

    A manifestation of overabundance of external locus of control looks like this:

    "I didn't do well because the system is rigged in favor of others."
    "It's not my fault I drove into the tree. It shouldn't have been planted so close to the road."
    (Upon stubbing one's toe) "Stupid Dresser!"
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  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by brightflashes View Post
    In psychology, locus of control is the area one believes is responsible for why negative things happen. A healthy person has about an even amount of internal locus of control and external locus of control.

    One unhealthy manifestation is a person who has an overabundance of internal locus of control. Here's what that looks like:

    "It's all my fault"
    "I better not do this because I'll screw it up anyway."
    (Upon stubbing one's toe) "I'm so clumsy!"

    A manifestation of overabundance of external locus of control looks like this:

    "I didn't do well because the system is rigged in favor of others."
    "It's not my fault I drove into the tree. It shouldn't have been planted so close to the road."
    (Upon stubbing one's toe) "Stupid Dresser!"
    Does it have to be rational? Mine is balanced but sometimes I blame myself for the uncontrollable and the dogs for getting in my way lol

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  9. #9

    @PryorsHayes

    It's normal to have some irrationality involved with locus of control. The reason that a balanced locus of control is ideal is that the "blame" is evenly placed in a way where the individual doesn't feel entirely responsible for every horrible thing, but also so that the individual isn't blaming everything on others either. While mental health, in this case, doesn't really align as much with irrational/rational or not, the point is that "perception is reality" applies. So, a person who blames dogs for getting in the way of them (or, in my case, my cats), even if they stopped and thought about it and was like "well, that's a bit ridiculous", still has a pretty healthy psyche if they also blame themselves for certain things, too.

    There are also common misinformed locus of control logical fallacies which one finds in a counselor's office. For example, a grieving person who blames themselves for someone else's death (which that person had zero influence in, such as a drunk driving accident or a terminal illness).

  10. #10

    @brightflashes My score of 62 is considered normal, yep? Test was done in appropriate environment (with psychologist).
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