Not everyone knows what definition Locus of control means. But if you only study the meaning of this term, everything immediately becomes clear and understandable. The Locus of control is the person’s tendency to blame external or internal factors for the results of own actions, whether it is success or failure. There are two types of it: internal and external.
The internal locus of control is the ability to assess the causes of the consequences of decisions made and the current life situation, based on internal factors (efforts, knowledge, skills and experience, personal qualities and characteristics, etc.)
The external locus of control is the tendency to believe that external factors, which are also the reasons for the results achieved (success or failure), are of paramount influence on life, actions, and decisions.
Internals are those with a priority internal locus of control, characterized by poise, a tendency to introspection, knowledge of their positive and negative traits, and a persistent desire to achieve their goals. They believe that they can influence the situation and change it in their interests.
Externals are prone to an external locus of control. They are more aggressive, anxious, unsure of their abilities, and afraid to take responsibility, trying to postpone tasks. Their constant companion is the idea that absolutely nothing depends on them, and they dutifully go with the flow.
For example, imagine a student who has got a low mark. The external will refer this failure to events that prevented him/her from getting a better result. As an example, unexpected guests came to the house, and he/she had no time to prepare for a lesson. Internals will connect this fail with own intern feelings, for example, the lack of interest in this subject.
What Is A Health Locus Of Control?
Health locus of control is a set of beliefs based on personal experience that is directly related to health. The health locus of control may include physical exercise, proper nutrition or diets.
Health locus of control plays a significant role in health behaviors. A great example of investigating the relationship between health locus of control and health behavior in emergency medicine is demonstrated here.
This study began in August 2016 on 215 emergency medical personnel in Ahvaz and lasted six months. It found no significant correlation between health locus of control (external and internal) and health behavior.
Health behaviors were excellent in terms of personal health (86.5%), nutrition (53%), and sleep and rest (48.4%), and poor in terms of physical activity (52.6%) and stress management (79.5%). Moreover, 79.5% of the emergency personnel, in general, had poor health behaviors.
To sum up, leaders and officials in the field of health must design programs related to health locus of control, the factors developing and affecting it, and the role of power-correct behaviors.
The Locus of Control Scale
In 1966 Rotter developed the Locus of control questionnaire, which includes items. With the help of it, it is possible to determine internal and external expectancies. The lowest score you might get is zero, the highest – 13. If you get a low rating, you belong to an internal type, of you get a high score – to the external one. Here you can test yourself.
There are other scales, such as Bialer’s 23-item scale for children, the Crandall Intellectual Ascription of Responsibility Scale, and the Nowicki-Strickland Scale.
How to Develop an Internal Locus of Control?
Those who can develop an internal locus of control can increase their happiness and success. People with a robust internal locus of control believe in their ability to control the events in their life, and they know they are the only creators of their lives. Only YOU can DECIDE:
- what meaning have the things that happen to you;
- how you interpret life events;
- what you pay your attention to;
- who you compare yourself to;
- what you expect from yourself and others;
- what you want to remember from your past;
- how you imagine your future;
- what essential and what is not, and so on.
That is why, if you do not know how to develop an internal locus of control, follow the next steps:
- Remember, you always have a choice. The understanding you always have the choice might make you feel more confident and have fewer problems.
- Consider all options. When you have doubts or feel confused, make a list of all possible courses of action in a particular situation.
- Ask for a piece of advice. When co ideas come to your mind, ask a friend or a relative for a piece of advice. When you are asking for help, it does not mean you have to follow someone’s plan, single out the necessary information (a piece of advice) for you.
- Listen to yourself. Having doubts about something, you should listen to your inner feelings and thoughts. You might find the answer to your question deep inside in your brain because human knowledge can be saved for all your life.
The Locus of control can be present in any sphere of our life, and many people use it as they do not want to be responsible for their words and actions. However, no one is responsible for how you feel and what you say or do, except you. No one can make you feel better, but only you. Please do not care about others; they can think and say whatever they want about you, everyone has his own opinion, and this is usual. It is your choice how you feel about yourself, choose the right one!