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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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And the Wisdom to Know the Difference

And the Wisdom to Know the Difference

Locus of Control and Desire for Control

(p.45) 3 And the Wisdom to Know the Difference
Perceived Control

Jerry M. Burger

Oxford University Press

Although locus of control and desire for control are conceptually different personality traits, there are reasons to expect some relationship between how much control people typically believe they have and how much control people typically desire. Researchers tend to find a slight to moderate correlation between scales measuring the two traits, with an external locus of control predictive of low desire for control. High desire for control individual are often, but not always, more susceptible than lows to believing they have more control over situations than is objectively justified (i.e., the illusion of control). This heightened susceptibility is often found in research on gambling and superstitious behavior. Although relevant data are scant, there is some evidence that a mismatch between how much control people typically perceive and how much they want can take a toll on psychological well-being.

Keywords:   locus of control, desire for control, illusion of control, gambling, superstition, mismatch hypothesis

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