Locus of Control
Many do not understand the importance which the locus of control of every person has when it comes to a psychological assessment. At the same time, many people are not aware of what locus of control is, but no worries, I am here to explain.
In more simplistic terms or a more simple definition, we all have a locus of control which is the ability to control the way our mind behaves under psychological pressure which can be caused by different factors. We have two different types of locus of control, external locus of control and internal locus of control.
External locus of control
The external locus of control focuses more on external influences rather than logic which is something more internal. External influences can be described as different things in which a person can believe such as something that has happened to them is caused by either fate itself or even luck. People who have a strong external locus of control believe that the things that happen in their life are not controlled by them but either by fate or a better explanation that many people have is that each of us has their life already written down and what is bound to happen will happen to us. I like to describe these types of people as a believer, they are usually the type of people that have a strong faith in religion or other entities that present themselves as gods. As I have mentioned this is not internal influence but external as they are influenced by other people, hence the reason why we call it an external locus of control. The stronger this external locus of control is the easier it is to persuade that person into believing in external factors such as Religions or different factors that influence life only if you believe in them.
Internal locus of control
A person which presents themselves of having an internal locus of control are usually much more logical and have more control over their mindset, what I mean by this is that they are not as easy to influence as people that have an external locus of control. These are the type of people that believe they are in full control of all the actions and behaviours they manifest. They rarely believe that external factors are a cause or an influence on their lives.
A classic but at the same time very good example of locus of control would be to look at a student who has taken an exam and sadly failed it. If the student blames himself or herself for not studying hard enough this shows that they have an internal locus of control as they believe they are the main factor for the failure and no other external factors. If the student decides to blame the difficulty level of the exam, the poor performance of the teacher or just other external factors for his or her failure this represents a strong external locus of control.
The reason as to why many psychologists apply locus of control within the analyses of a person’s state of mind is to get a better understanding of the type of person they are dealing with. The locus of control shows the type of mindset you have, the perspective you may be following as well as the choices you are bound to make in life. This is one of the reasons why I think that the perspective of a person within a certain context is so important.