This exercise is designed to
- Insight into "locus of control" as a
- Feedback about individual locus of control scores
- Strategies for changing locus of control
Possible applications of this exercise include:
- Psychology classes
- Personal development courses
- Corporate training
- Therapeutic / rehabilitation programs
Variations can be created by
selecting different types of Locus of Control questionnaires.
- Invite students to complete
a Locus of Control questionnaire - at this stage do not explain what
it is measuring.
- Have students self-score
and get a total number. Make you're aware of which direction the
questionnaire is scored in.
- Explain the concept of
Locus of Control.
- Draw a
<---------------------> (continuum) on a whiteboard.
- Label the ends as external
<----------------> internal and explain both ends of the spectrum
- Add a scale to the
spectrum and invite students to come up and place a mark on the board,
so that the distribution of class scores is visible but the process is
anonymous (e.g., try to have several markers available so there's a
crowd at the board rather than individuals one at a time being watched).
Optional: Ask participants to initial their score - this helps them to
own their score without necessarily giving away their identity
(depends how well they know one another)
- Caution the class about
overly simplistic interpretations and emphasise that when discussing
psychological constructs such as LOC its important to avoid valenced
interpretation (i.e., good vs. bad):
- In general, a more
internal locus of control seems to advantageous, but this is not
always the case, for example, for external locus of control people
tend to cope better with terminal illness.
- Very high locus of
control particularly, if not accompanied by real life skills, can
contribute to anxiety problems.
- Present major group
differences - i.e., males more internal than females, people get more
internal as they get older and ask students to explain these findings.
- Ask students for ways they
can suggest for changing someone's locus of control towards
internality. Some psycho-educational programs are effective in
shifting people towards a more internal locus of control.