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Define locus of control.

Whether you attribute outcomes in life as being due to your own (internal) or other (external) forces.


Outline Rotter’s model (1966).

A unidimensional model of locus of control from internal to external.


What does Rotter's locus of control depend upon?

- Generalised expectancy for reinforcement - importance is high in ambiguous situations.
- Reinforcement value (depends on the value the individual places on the situation).
- Availability of alternative behaviours.


What kind of theory is Rotter's locus of control an example of?

An expectancy-value theory (do actions lead to an outcome?).


Outline fundamental attribution errors at a trait level.

- Bad -> you = situation
- Bad -> other = self
- Good -> you = self
- Good -> other = situation


Describe Levenson’s model (1973).

Divided external category into chance and powerful others (e.g. doctors).


Describe Paulhus & Christie’s sphere of control.

Centre circle of ‘self’ connecting out into concentric circles of independent spheres or 'theatres' of control - control profiles can be created.


What are the three domains/theatres of Paulhus & Christie’s sphere of control?

- Achievement
- Interpersonal
- Socio-political


Describe the idea of human agency as part of Bandura’s social learning theory.

Goals lead to intentionality, which leads to forethought (motivation) and (simulation of future), causing self-reactiveness (moral judgment). This leads to decision and action, followed by self-reflectiveness (self-evaluation).


Define self-efficacy.

The belief that you can perform a behaviour - training programs increase self-efficacy when dealing with phobias etc.


What does self-efficacy lead to?

Outcome expectancies - the estimate that a given behaviour will lead to a given outcome.


What other constructs can self-efficacy be extended to?

- Control by proxy (proximity increases efficacy)
- Collective (group) efficacy


What does self-efficacy affect?

Choice, initiation and persistence (effort) of behaviour.


What is self-efficacy a good predictor of?

Success in phobia treatment programs etc.


What are the dimensions of self-efficacy?

Magnitude, generality and strength.


When self-efficacy (y) and outcome expectancy (x) are plotted on a graph, what does it show?

1. High self-efficacy results in skilled competency and high outcome expectancy results in agency.
2. There are problems when the two domains are discrepant, because they represent the relationship between perceived/real abilities and the environment. If s-e is high and outcome expectancy low, then people might for example do worse at tasks than they expect to.


What can discrepancy between self-efficacy and outcome expectancy be linked to?

Seligman's Learned Helplessness model of depression, whereby people want to do something, but can't. This model suggests that an external locus of control should result in depression, as people think they cannot change outcomes.


Outline Ferguson & Cox’s (1996) implicit model.

A cognitive map which can be represented in a graph, where:
y axis = Internal - Top = unstable construct [effort], bottom = stable construct [ability, skill]
x axis = External - Right = unstable construct [luck, fate, chance], left = stable construct


Outline the best-worst sources of efficacy.

1. Performance (and appropriate feedback)
- Participant modelling - e.g. for someone with a phobia, facing that fear.
2. Vicarious experiences
- Observer modelling
3. Verbal persuasion
- Suggestion
4. Emotional arousal
- Biofeedback, controlling and understanding own emotional arousal.


How does high self-efficacy affect performance under stress?

It results in lower cortisol and adrenaline when doing stressful task (e.g. a social stress test, such as giving a speech).


How does locus of control affect peoples' lives in terms of coping etc.?

Internals live longer after (successful) lung transplant, use more 'adaptive' coping styles - they tend to decide how to improve a situation and do it, and perform better at work and do better in exams.


What does attributional style depend on?

Internality/externality, controllable/uncontrollable, stable/unstable and global/specific. Something is more likely to be attributed to ability if the person is internal and stable and the situation global and uncontrollable, and the opposite is true for attribution to effort (except both are internal).


What affects the likelihood of depressive cognitions in terms of attribution?

Depression = internal, stable and global for negative outcomes. Seligman's learned helplessness model of depression suggests that people with external loci of control are more likely to be depressed, however it seems to have more to do with attribution.
If internals' own (internal) ability (global) leads to a negative outcome, this is more likely to lead to depressive cognitions. However if this is due to lack of effort (specific), depressive cognitions are less likely - effort can be increased (controllable) or the context changed, whereas ability is relatively stable (uncontrollable).


Outline individual differences in people's desire to control events in their lives.

There is often an implicit assumption that we desire control over our lives, that it makes us happier, but this is not true. The two extremes are called monitors and blunters, where monitors want to know everything and blunters want to know nothing.


What does experimental data from lab experiments suggest that a lack of control leads to?

In the situation of having a button that can be pressed to stop a noise then having it taken away, a lack of control leads to performance deficits. It can result in either reactance effects - people want control back - or learned helplessness, essentially resignation.


What is the problem with experimental data from lab experiments on lack of control?

Lack of control does not always lead to performance deficits in real life situations - some people don't want control (blunters).


Outline White's 'effectance motivation'.

The motivation needed to attain competence cannot be wholly derived from sources of energy currently conceptualized as drives or instincts; it is derived from a motivational aspect of competence called effectance motivation.


How do desire (y) and felt control (x) relate according to Law et al. (1994)?

- High desire for control + low felt control (top left box) results in:
- Poor coping skills and as such experimentally provided coping skills
- Report highest anxiety
- When given a control intervention, report more experienced control and less pain
- Low desire for control + low felt control (bottom left box)
- When given control intervention, report less experienced control and a trend towards pain.


Outline the matching or congruency hypothesis.

The premise that control beliefs interact with environmental contingency and other beliefs.


What did Christensen et al. (1991) do?

Studied renal patients and found evidence for the matching or congruency hypothesis - internal control is related to lower depression only in patients without a failed transplant with severe symptoms, but is related to depression for those with a failed transplant.