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External Locus of Control (Dissertation Sample)


This was a dissertation investigating the impact of locus of control among students in my university and the perceived influence of the control on their academic performance.


Students with an external locus of control are more susceptible to anxiety related stress than students with internal locus of control
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The purpose of my study was top investigate the impact of locus of control among students in my university and the perceived influence of the control on their academic performance. A non-experimental descriptive research study was used to collect the data required to address my research questions I set for this study. Students from any year of study were approached and requested to participate in the study. Each of the students interviewed filled a questionnaire that sought to investigate their understanding about locus of control and their intellectual achievements in their course work. The outcome suggested that self-reported academic achievements were significantly high for students who had a better understanding of the two types of locus of control. In addition, high academic achievements were high for students who have a high internal locus of control. Similarly, questionnaires filled by the tutors supported the theory that students with high internal locus of control tend to be -tend to be happier, less depressed, less anxious, and less stressed. This category of students also enjoy better health apparently because they experience less of the anxious and chronic stress that come from a feeling of powerlessness. They are more satisfied with their academic life in general and therefore outperform students with high external locus of control.
In the globalizing and ever changing world today, organizations and the learning institutions need to adopt to the environmental and psychological conditions that have been evidenced as improving on academic performance of the students. To be successful in these conditions, organizations and family setups should create an environment that supports these conditions. Research has shown that locus of control can be shaped by both childhood and adulthood events (Passer et al 2009) This means that the question of whether a person was able in (childhood/adulthood) to have a strong impact on their environment can lead to a sense of empowerment or of learned powerlessness (Hans 2000). This is then perpetuated by habitual thinking patterns.
It is therefore important for family settings to recognize this fact and therefore promote self-efficacy, best locus of control, and perceived parental support. The learning institution likewise should adopt organizational behaviors that support these conditions. In order to accomplish this, they should acquire information that is required to determine the needs of students adopt it and evaluate it so that the institution can have a considerable effect on the success of their student’s academic performance (Berzoff, 2011). The sampling for this research was conducted by giving questionnaires to conducting interviews with students in my university. As the interviewer, I use a questionnaire that contained relevant questions of the subject. Below is an illustration of the questionnaire that I used (Berzoff, 2011).
Locus of control is a personality psychology theory that refers to the extent an individual believe that they can control events that affect them (Demirkan and Selcan, 2006). The concept of locus of control was developed and defined by Julian B. Rotter (1966) in his Social Learning theory. The theory ahs since then become an instrumental aspect in personality studies. A person's "locus" (Latin for "location" or "place") is conceived either as internal (the individual believes that he or she can control their life) or external (meaning they believe that life and decisions are controlled by environmental factors (external factors) which they have no influence of control of.
The hypothesis of locus of control and academic performance has been the subject of debate since Rotter introduced the concept (Rotter, 1975). This has led to the direction of this relationship has being somewhat ignored both by psychological research and, in the educational policy debate. To date, more attention is paid to the importance of health for education both in the industrialized and the developing countries where clear documentation have been set to explain the importance of students health and its effects in academic performance. This paper recognizes that locus of control is a theory that falls under personality psychology which is under the framework of health. This concept is therefore relevant because it has an effect on the health of a person and their subsequent performance abilities.
The concept of locus of control has an important place in literature in helping students with leaning difficulties and attitude. Locus of control is a key concept in the studying of learning difficulties among students and attitude change in the learning curriculum. Rotter in his study displays the prizes or reinforcements gained occur as a result of their abilities and knowledge while others students display the forces from outside of their control. Rotter based on his study expresses instances where reinforcements occur as a result of the attitude of the students as being the student’s internal locus of control. He also assesses the situations reinforcements occur out of the attitude of the students as being the student’s external locus of control (Rotter, 1966). My research demonstrates that internal locus of control plays a major role for students ability to sustain the usefulness and efficacy of their learning performance. The experiences and knowledge gained by the students as a result of organizational learning proves to be an essential factor in improving the student’s performance.
This study seeks to determine the rate of students with external and internal locus of control and the effects of each of the concept in their academic performance. This paper therefore gives place to the learning institutions to consider adopting organizations learning that would address the needs of their students with an aim of improving their academic performance. This research therefore aims to systematically review the current knowledge of the effect of locus of control and present a comprehensive educational outcome through verifiable data collected from the university to confirm the fact that students with an external locus of control, are more susceptible to anxiety related stresses than students with internal locus of control (Berzoff, 2011)
2.0Research Questions
My research, has tried to answer the research questions as stated below. These questions are designed to express the relationships between locus of control and academic learning performance of students. The questions are as follows;
Research Question 1: What are the effects of locus of control on the academic performance of the students?
Research Question 2: What is the ratio of the participants’ understanding of locus of control?
Research Question 3: Is there any correlation between the attitudes of students interviewed and their academic performance ?
Research Question 4: Is there any relationship between academic performance of students and locus of control (internal and external factors)?
3.0Literature Review
Locus of control (LOC) is a dimensional construct that refers to a person’s ability to control events in their lives (Strauser, 2002). In other words the locus of control represents the degree to which an individual perceive reinforcing events, prizes, successes or failures in their lives to be the result of their own actions (an "internal" LOC) or fate and chance (an "external" LOC; Bandura, 1986; Rotter, 1966). While the control of a person’s control of their own life is dependent on chance, fate and powerful external forces, explained as external control, maintaining the control of an individual’s life events is described as internal control (Rotter, 1966). When the environmental conditions are insufficient to explain a person’s success or failures, locus of control is utilized to make the circumstances clear. For example, different individual perceive events (good or bad) differently. These different ways are based on either internal locus of control or external locus of control. The individuals with internal locus of control tend to have a big role on affecting the events that influences their lives. They tend to view themselves as having power over the attitudes they wish to display by having a positive ego conception and believes that they can control their lives in any way the dim fit (Gülveren, 2008).
The individuals with external locus of control tend to relate the events that affecting their lives to factors such as fate, chance, and luck that is out of their control. They also tend to think that events that happen in their lives are unpredictable and cannot be controlled (Bernstein, Stephan, & Davis, 2009; Dollinger, 2000). However, individuals with internal locus of control are more alert, careful, success oriented, ingenious, and dominant. The externals are less careful, have less self-confidence, affected more by their group members, easily swayed by external forces, and have a high rate of demonstrating unsteady performances. This category of individuals are more depressed, portray high anxious conditions and are more stressed and are not happy with the general course of events in their lives (Rotter, 1975).
All individuals lay out one of the two control attitudes; the internal or the external locus of control by observing their reinforcements that they have from their past experiences. Their differences in the abilities, responsibilities, change situations, environment, stress, job satisfaction and work motivations between the two categories of locus of control
(Demirkan and Selcan, 2006).
The relations...
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