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Perceived ControlTheory, Research, and Practice in the First 50 Years$
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John W. Reich and Frank J. Infurna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190257040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190257040.001.0001

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Control Striving and Control Perception in a Life Span Developmental Framework

Control Striving and Control Perception in a Life Span Developmental Framework

(p.253) 11 Control Striving and Control Perception in a Life Span Developmental Framework
Perceived Control

Brandilynn Villarreal

Jutta Heckhausen

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the authors use the motivational theory of life span development (MTD) to identify the individual and situational determinants of control in regulating development across the life span. The theory addresses perceived and actual control, as well as the dynamic relationship between the two, but advances actual control as the ultimate indicator of successful development. As specified in the theory, primary control processes are directed at expanding actual or objective control and individuals’ strivings to maximize it across the life span. In contrast, secondary control optimizes perceived control by adjusting one’s goals to existing realities even when actual control cannot be enhanced or maintained. Control perceptions and secondary control processes serve as the psychological tools to maximize actual control over developmental outcomes across the life span.

Keywords:   control, perceived control, personal control, control striving, control belief, life span development, primary control, secondary control, motivation, individual differences

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