Interal-External Locus of Control Scale

Citation: Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological monographs: General and applied, 80(1), 1.

PMID or DOI: PMID: 5340840

Main positive psychological well-being construct measured: Mastery

Sub-constructs measured: N/A

Available subscales: N/A

Description: The Internal-External (I-E) Locus of Control scale measures generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Those with an internal locus of control believe that their own behavior determines events in their lives, while those with an external locus of control believe that life events are generally outside of their control.

Number of items: 29 (6 filler items)

Example of statement/item: “I have often found that what is going to happen will happen; “Trusting to fate has never turned out as well for me as making a decision to take a definite course of action.”

Response options: A or B, where one represents an internal locus of control and the matching statement an external locus of control.

Total score: Items representing external choices are summed, yielding a range from 0 to 23. Higher scores indicate greater levels of external locus of control.

Examples of studies:
1. Shippee, T.P., L. Rinaldo, and K.F. Ferraro, Mortality risk among Black and White working women: The role of perceived work trajectories. J Aging Health, 2012. 24(1): p. 141-67.

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