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Locus of Control for Positive and Negative Outcomes, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

“Locus of control is an individual’s belief system regarding the causes of his or her experiences and the factors to which that person attributes success or failure” (Santo, 2007, par. 1).  Parents and adult figures that we respect and look up to often play a critical role in teaching us our belief system.  Parental figures directly define what behaviors are correct or incorrect, and these behaviors also build on our locus of control.  For instance, an individual may believe that education and performing well in school will lead to occupational success.  A parent that is strict with education and monitors the child’s progress presents this belief in educational success leading to occupational success directly to the child.  Therefore, it is clear that parents play a large role in shaping the child’s belief system.

In my situation, it both of my parents had very different loci of control.  My father and mother were never married, so I spent my childhood sharing time with both parents.  My father has internal locus of control which describes individuals who perceive all rewards being the results of their own behavior (Njus & Brockway, 1999).  He would often stress working hard in everything that he or I did because it would lead to success.  On the other hand, my mother has external locus of control which perceives that rewards are independent of their behavior (Njus & Brockway, 1999).  She believed that the end results would take care of themselves and did not believe that she had much control over their final outcome.

I feel that I have the same locus of control as my father.  My internal locus of control has developed based on my experiences and observations from living with my father.  I value hard work and perseverance during difficult times.  My mother is a little more relaxed in her behaviors, which is completely different from how I am.  There are things that you can control and things that you cannot control.  I believe that if I control my work ethic and attitude, the results will ultimately take care of themselves because I have put myself in a situation that is ideal for success.

References

Njus, D.M. & Brockway, J.H. [1999]. Perceptions of competence and locus of control for positive and negative outcomes. Personality and Individual Differences 26, 531-548.

Santo, S.A. (2007, December). Locus of control. Retrieved from http://people.usd.edu/~ssanto/locus.html

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