What is

Locus of Control

An individual’s locus of control is defined by how they attribute their own, or others’, actions to the success or failure of their endeavors.  A locus of control is divided into internal and external categories. An internal locus of control is defined as success or failure at a given task being attributed to personal characteristics, efforts and skills. An external locus of control attributes success to luck or fate, or other factors not in the control of the subject. Individuals with an external locus of control are less likely to make the effort necessary to learn difficult subject matter and absorb its material.

Locus of control refers to one of four elements of integral self-evaluations — in addition to neuroticism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. It can also predict several professional outcomes including job performance and job satisfaction with a high degree of accuracy. Some see this as a personality trait that an individual is born with, but there is some evidence that it is also shaped by events an individual experiences in childhood.