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Control Motivation, Depression, and Counterfactual Thought

  • Keith D. Markman
  • Gifford Weary
Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)

Abstract

The notion that there exists a fundamental need to exert control over or to influence one’s environment has enjoyed a long history in psychology (e.g., DeCharms, 1968; Heider, 1958) and has stimulated considerable theoretical work. Such a need has been characterized by theorists at multiple levels of analysis. Control motivation, for example, has been characterized broadly in terms of proactive (White, 1959) or reactive (e.g., Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978; Brehm, 1966; Brehm & Brehm, 1981) strivings for control over general or specific (Brehm & Brehm, 1981) and central or peripheral outcomes (Thompson, 1993). Additionally, various types of control strategies used to gain or maintain a sense of personal control have been proposed (e.g., Averill, 1973; Heckhausen & Schulz, 1995; Rothbaum, Weisz, & Snyder, 1982; Thompson, 1981). Modes of control, for instance, have been categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary strategies involve direct action undertaken to produce desirable and avoid undesirable outcomes in the external world, whereas secondary strategies employ primarily cognitive processes undertaken to produce a change within the person. Recently, Heckhausen and Schulz (1995) have further delineated these primary and secondary forms of control according to whether they are based on veridical or illusory causal understandings of the world and whether they are functional or dysfunctional. While most control theorists view primary control as preferable to secondary control, the latter is viewed as critical in the process of adaptation to control failures and in the promotion of future primary control attempts.

Keywords

Control Motivation Negative Life Event Causal Attribution Depressed Individual Secondary Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith D. Markman
    • 1
  • Gifford Weary
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMarywood UniversityScrantonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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