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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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The Cultural Context of Control

The Cultural Context of Control

(p.71) 4 The Cultural Context of Control
Perceived Control

Beth Morling

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews how cultural psychologists have studied the perceived control construct. Perceived control was originally defined and studied by psychologists from European and North American backgrounds, and its body of research has largely been conducted on participants from middle-class Western cultural contexts. This potentially culture-centric perspective may have affected what we have learned about perceived control. As cultural psychology began to penetrate mainstream psychology in the 1990s, empirical evidence suggested that some findings about perceived control may not apply in cultural contexts of East Asia or lower social class contexts within the United States. For example, in cultural contexts that emphasize interdependent social engagement, individuals may practice and benefit from interpersonal adjustment or conjoint agency more than personal influence and individual agency. And in material worlds that afford reduced opportunities for choice, individuals may emphasize personal integrity and self-control, rather than personal environmental control and influence.

Keywords:   culture, social class, agency, independence, interdependence, secondary control

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