The internal-external scale confounds internal locus of control with expectancies of positive outcomes

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Abstract

Julian Rotter's Internal-External (I-E) Scale forces choices between statements expressing internal locus of control and those expressing external locus of control. However, the statements appear also to differ in the confidence they convey that desired outcomes will occur. Subjects in Study 1 viewed bogus responses agreeing or disagreeing with either internal or external statements from the I-E Scale. Agreement with internal items (compared with disagreement) was seen as implying confidence that desired outcomes would occur. Disagreement with external items (compared with agreement) was seen as implying confidence that desired outcomes would occur. Subjects in Study 2 rated their own agreement with either internal or external items and their confidence of the desired outcomes. Agreement with internal items was positively related to confidence about the outcomes; agreement with external items was unrelated to confidence. Discussion focuses on theoretical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume23
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997

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Internal-External Control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology

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