What Is an External Locus of Control

This is a psychological problem diagnosed as a symptom in the thought process of people in general. It refers mainly to what people think about them regarding their capabilities, chances of success in their endeavors etc.  It has been recognized as a problem by psychiatrist and psychologist over the last 60years or so. According to them, there two types of people, one with internal and other is with external locus of control. A majority of people believed to having internal locus of control have been very successful in their lives.

 People with external locus of controls are associated with negative way of thinking, regarding the world in general and their place in it. They are of the firm belief that whatever they do and in whichever manner they do it, some external forces have an effect on it. As a result their ability to perform well is felt to be very seriously in doubt. This belief in external forces affects the person’s ability and makes the person lose the self belief and to indulge in self pity.

 People with external locus of control believe in fate, destiny, and luck. They also blame society for their lack of success. They also tend to accept whatever happens as an act of God. Without any self confidence these people do not have any belief in their future, and allow things to drift and happen as a matter of course. This lack of self confidence and self belief also results in their not being as hard working as people with internal locus of control. Unfortunately, this way of thinking affects their progress in the college also.

 The psychiatrist can only diagnose a person to find out if the person is with external locus of control or internal locus of control. The testing is in the form of series of questions to ascertain the person’s self belief. Positive or negative answer to the questions gives a clue to the testing psychiatrist about the nature of the person tested. They are mainly directed to find out if the person considers him alone for his success or failure of his actions and not blame external factors for failures.

 It is natural that people with external locus of control will never feel happy. In spite of their way of thinking many of them have met success also. The unhappiness stems from lack of success and it may change if the person has success in life. Tending to take things as inevitable happenings over which they cannot exercise any control many such people can feel happy also accepting things as they are.