Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Locus of control is a personality dimension involving an individual's perceived control over events occurring in his life. An internal Cl) person is one who feels that he controls his reinforcement contingencies. The external (E) person feels that his rewards or reinforcements occur on a chance basis, are due to fate or luck, or controlled by something or someone else.

Though the body of information surrounding the I-E construct is growing, there are still many questions to be answered and areas to be explored. One of the goals of this investigation was to examine some underlying factors in the development of I-E orientation. An attempt was also made to predict I-E orientation from the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). In addition, personality characteristics and fantasy styles of individuals were investigated as they related to locus of control, for both males and females.

The Experiential Self Report Quasi (ESRQ) Questionnaire was completed by all subjects. The (ESRQ) Questionnaire included the following instruments which were used as dependent variables: the Family Relations Inventory, the STAI A-Trait scale, a five item scale measuring perceived confidence in problem-solving abilities and items from the Daydream Questionnaire developed by Singer. The independent variables were the two levels of locus of control (internal and external) and two levels of sex (male and female).

Analysis of variance was used to examine the relationship between I-E and the dependent variables. The results indicated that maternal child rearing attitudes of over-protectiveness and restrictive ness were strongly related to an external orientation.

External Ss were also found to be significantly more anxious than internal Ss. In addition, male external Ss rated themselves as less confident in problem-solving abilities than did internal Sis. No differences were found between internals and externals in regards to daydream activity or defense mechanisms.

It was suggested that individuals who score within the moderate ranges on the Rotter I-E scale may represent the best adjusted individuals.

Two judges were able to predict I-E orientation from responses to TAT cards with 70% accuracy. They predicted external S_s with much greater efficiency than they were able to do with internal Ss.

The implications of these findings were also discussed in refer ence to therapeutic management of clients. It was suggested that insight-oriented therapy may be the preferred treatment modality for internal clients, while more structured therapeutic techniques may be more effective for the external client during the beginning stages of therapy.