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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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Seven Guideposts to the Study of Perceived Control Across the Lifespan

Seven Guideposts to the Study of Perceived Control Across the Lifespan

(p.309) 13 Seven Guideposts to the Study of Perceived Control Across the Lifespan
Perceived Control

Ellen A. Skinner

Oxford University Press

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Julian Rotter’s seminal paper, this chapter gathers up important lessons learned about locus of control and other control-related constructs, including learned helplessness, self-efficacy, and causal attributions. The chapter describes the nature of perceived control as an internal working model organized around the issue of personal force, including themes of contingency, competence, and control; its motivational core in experiences of generative transmission; the multiple pathways through which control exerts its powerful effects, including motivational, emotional, cognitive, volitional, and neurophysiological mechanisms; how it is shaped by interactions with the social and physical environment; the dynamics created by the feed-forward and feedback effects of control; how the competence system develops across the life span; and limitations inherent in control constructs. The chapter ends with some thoughts about future research on dynamics, development, and interventions designed to optimize the competence system.

Keywords:   perceived control, locus of control, learned helplessness, self-efficacy, causal attributions, contingency, competence, generative transmission

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