Narrator: Now listen to part of a talk in a Psychology class.
Professor: Ok, ever thought about the things that happen to you and what's responsible for them?
We psychologists have a term, locus of control.
Locus of control refers to where people think control over their lives comes from,
whether it comes from themselves or from somewhere else.
People who think that control is in themselves are internals,
and people who think it comes from somewhere else are externals.
Let's say there are two people going for job interviews.
One of them is an internal.
She has an internal locus of control.
Since she thinks that control comes from within herself,
she'll believe that her success and her preparation are really her responsibility.
So she's likely to really work on her interview skills ahead of time.
Then, if she gets the job, she'll believe that it's because she's worked so hard.
And if she doesn't get it, well, she'll probably be disappointed with herself,
and try to figure out how she can improve for the next time.
OK. And another job candidate is an external.
He perceives other things, say his interviewers, to have more influence.
After all, it's their decision.
It depends on what mood they're in, and you know, luck.
Now with his external locus of control,
he's not as hard on himself, so he's more likely to take risks.
He might interview for a job that he's not completely qualified for.
And if he gets it, he'll think he's really lucky.
And because he believes external forces are in control,
he might think it's because the interviewers were having a good day.
And if he doesn't get it,
he'll probably blamed the interviewers or bad luck rather than look at himself and try to figure out what he could have done better.