personality test center personality test center logo

Locus of control > Results > Statistics > Report


At the heart of the discussion for locus of control, lies the concept of who and what has responsibility for the outcomes in our lives.

If people feel responsible for the outcome of their behaviors, then they have an internal locus of control, and they believe that they control the events in their life.

If, however, they believe that the outcome of their behaviours is mostly due to external factors, such as luck, and the environment, they have an external locus of control.

"A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external control orientation)." (Zimbardo, 1985)


Differences between internal and external loci of control

Internals

  • are more likely to raise their goals after succeeding a task, and are more likely to lower their goals after failing a task.
  • use terms such as want to, choose to and love to.
  • are more likely to attempt to influence other people.
  • pay attention to the content of the opinion regardless of who holds it.
  • are more likely to use repression to forget about their disappointments.
  • define events and make things happen, by focusing their time and energy on things they can control.

Externals

  • are more likely to lower their goals after succeeding a task, and are more likely to raise their goals after failing a task.
  • use words such as can't, must, have to, ought and should.
  • are more likely to be influenced by other people.
  • pay attention to the status of the opinion-holder.
  • are less likely to experience anxiety and guilt with their failures.
  • react to events, and rely on what others tell them.

Ways to increase locus of control