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Locus of Control and Self Efficacy – How Do They Work Together?

Julian B Rotter in the book - Social Learning and Clinical Psychology, New York Prentice Hall,1954, presented the concept of an Internal Locus of Control vs an External Locus of Control.  My overall interpretation of his theory is summarized as follows: Individuals with a high Internal Locus of Control are more likely to rely upon themselves in forming beliefs and to decide upon their own actions and outcomes without as much emphasis on depending upon the opinions or influence of others.  Individuals with a high External Locus of Control place a higher degree of emphasis upon the opinions and influence of others in forming their own beliefs, actions, or outcomes.  Albert Bandura is noted for his theories on Self-Efficacy.  You can learn more about this through his book - Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman, 1997.  My summary of his concepts are as follows: Self-Efficacy and Self-Sufficiency is associated with an individual having a belief in their own ability and resources to complete tasks and achieve goals and as a result they feel less dependent upon others to help in obtaining those goals.  They are less dependent upon others and place less responsibility upon others to to fulfill their sense of well being.   I suggest that as individuals possess a higher degree of Internal Locus of Control, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Sufficiency, they are more likely to withstand stresses in life and are more likely to exhibit less mental health symptoms.   These are two areas of focus that I often address in my work with patients as part of a therapy intervention.     https://emapdrschulz.com      

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George O. Schulz, Ph.D.

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