The Locus Of Control Contsruct Essay

2714 words - 11 pages

Locus of Control, originally conceptualized by Julian Rotter (1966), has been found to be critical to numerous studies. Within psychology, it is considered to be a generalized expectancy regarding the forces that determine reinforcement. Individuals with internal orientation perceive rewards as contingent based on personal behavior, whereas those with external orientation attribute reinforcement received to external factors such as chance and powerful others (Levenson 1981). This essay examines the nature and significance of this psychological construct, especially in academic achievement and health domains. Additionally, it has been argued that high internality is positively associated with leadership while high scores of powerful others have detrimental impacts. Finally comes the argument that higher internality is beneficial for career and leadership.

The nature and the importance of the ‘Locus of Control’ construct

Theoretically derived from Rotter’s I-E Scale, the Levenson scale is extensively used because of its sufficient reliability and validity. Compared with overly simplistic I-E scale, this multidimensional approach is more convincible as it lessens ambiguous wording and almost deters social desirability bias which might arouse a loss of reality (Krampen 1981). In contrast, it may be argued that the I-E Scale is more widely applied. Central construct as it is, I-E scale is surrounded by other development of Locus of Control construct and may be more dominant in some domains. Riordan (1981) administered those two scales to South African students. Effectively, Rotter’s scale was found high reliability, together with the result that Black participants scored significantly less towards internality than White respondents. Whereas the usefulness of Levenson’s scale was not endorsed. Nevertheless, the I-E scale is inappropriate and rough for some specific domains in which P scale differs from C scale. Rotter’s work was extended significantly by Levenson (1981) who split externality into chance and powerful others, rather than rating individuals as simply externality. The creator, Leveson (1972), found that participants with chance orientation shared traits which could not be distinguished by the P or I scales. Further, the study in anti-pollution activism also support the validity. Responses from participants demonstrated that involvement was different for those having high scores on the P scale, compared with the Chance scale (Levenson 1974). Therefore, the Levenson Scale is more sufficiently reliable and appropriate.

As an important predictor of health behaviors, generally, Locus of Control construct supplies health problems and treatments with essential insights. There is evidence to suggest that patients scoring high on the I scale might be better suited to ameliorative and preventive treatment for the sake of recovery (Strickland 1974 cited in Levenson 1981). Additionally, patients’ participation in health treatment cannot be...

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