Naturally Occurring Perceptions of Control: A Model of Bounded Flexibility
- 227 Downloads
The bulk of the research on perceived control indicates that we feel better about ourselves, are physically healthier, perform better on cognitive and manual tasks, cope better with adversity, and are better able to make desired behavioral changes if we have a sense of personal control (Thompson & Spacapan, 1991). Given these positive effects, it is not surprising that individuals are motivated to have control and tend to overestimate their abilities to influence events (Alloy & Abramson, 1979). However, it cannot be assumed that the motive to have control is without limit or disadvantage. For example, in “low-control” situations in which there are fewer opportunities for exercising effective control and increased likelihood that control perceptions will be disconfirmed, beliefs in personal control may not be beneficial and individuals may not overestimate their control. Not much is known about the motivation to believe that you have control when people are in life circumstances that limit the actual control available to them.
KeywordsPsychological Adjustment Personal Control Irrational Belief Control Belief Dispositional Optimism
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baltes, M.M. & Baltes, P.B. (1986). The psychology of control and aging. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: The internal affective determinants of behavior. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Ellis, A. (1977). The basic clinical theory of rational-emotive therapy. In A. Ellis & R. Grieger (Eds.), Handbook of rational-emotive therapy (pp. 3–34). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Jones, E.E. & Gerard, H.B. (1967). Foundations of social psychology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Remondet, J.H. & Hansson, R.O. (1991). Job-related threats to control among older employees. Journal of Social Issues, 47(4), 129-141.Google Scholar
- Simonton, O.C., Matthews-Simonton, S., & Creighton, J. (1978). Getting well again. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc.Google Scholar
- Thompson, S.C., Cheek, P.R., & Graham, M.A. (1988). The other side of perceived control: Disadvantages and negative effects. In S. Spacapan & S. Oskamp (Eds.), The social psychology of health (pp. 69–93). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
- Thompson, S.C., Pitts, J., & Schwankovsky, L. (1991). Preferences for involvement in medical decision making: Personal and situational influences. Manuscript under review.Google Scholar
- Thompson, S.C. & Sobolew-Shubin, A. (in press). Perceptions of overprotection in ill adults. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.Google Scholar
- Weary, G., Marsh, K.L., Gleicher, F., & Edwards, J.A. (in press). Depression, control motivation, and the processing of information about others. In G. Weary, F. Gleicher, & K.L. Marsh (Eds.), Control motivation and social cognition. New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
- Wortman, C.B. & Brehm, J.W. (1975). Responses to uncontrollable outcomes: An integration of reactance theory and the learned helplessness model. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 8, pp. 278–336). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar