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International Journal of Psychological Research

Print version ISSN 2011-2084

int.j.psychol.res. vol.6 no.1 Medellín Jan./June 2013


Locus of Control in Graduation Students

Locus de Control en Estudiantes de Graduación

Imran Haider Zaidi*,a, M. Naeem Mohsinb

a MS (Clinical Psychology) Scholar G.C University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
b Director Distance Learning Education G.C University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
* Imran Haider Zaidi, MS (Clinical Psychology) Scholar, G.C University, Faisalabad Pakistan. Phone No. 9203006693220. Address: 329/C , Ghulam Muhammad Abad Faisalabad. Email:

Received: Enero 26 de 2013 - Revised: Mayo 15 de 2013 - Accepted: Junio 21 de 2013


The current research focused on exploring the direction of Locus of control as well as gender difference on locus of control among graduation students in Pakistan. A 29 item Locus of Control questionnaire (Rotter, 1966) was used to measure locus of control. Sample of (N=200) individuals (n=100) men and (n=100) women selected from different academic institutes of Faisalabad division Punjab Pakistan. Independent sample t-test was used for statistical analysis. This study has consistent results with the earlier studies. Results of this research indicate that men has internal locus of control and women scored high on external locus of control. So the gender difference is significant on Locus of Control. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future researches are discussed.

Key Words: Locus of control, graduation, students, Punjab, Pakistan.


La presente investigación se enfoca en explorar tanto la dirección como la diferencia de género del Locus de Control entre estudiantes de graduación en Pakistán. Un cuestionario de Locus de Control de 29 ítems (Rotter, 1966) fue usado para medir el Locus de Control de la muestra (N=200,) conformada por hombres (n=100) y mujeres (n=100) seleccionados de diferentes instituciones académicas de Faisalabab en la provincia de Punjab Pakistán. Se usó la prueba t para muestras independientes para el análisis estadístico. Este estudio tiene resultados congruentes con investigaciones previas, los cuales indican que los hombres tienen Locus de Control interno mientras que las mujeres externo. Así pues, la diferencia de género es significativa en el Locus de Control. Las conclusiones de estos hallazgos y las recomendaciones para futuras investigaciones son discutidas.

Palabras Clave: Locus de Control, graduación, estudiantes, Punjab.


Locus of Control is an aptitude that to be relevant control in excess of outcomes. People considering themselves able to control their outcomes are known as internal or possessing internal Locus of Control. Externals or individuals with external Locus of Control considered their outcomes beyond of their control. Individual with internal Locus of Control have high motivation for achievement and low outer directedness. On the other side externals always keep trying to search out explanations for their failures. We may also refer internals as "self control" or "self determination".

Internal individuals can be psychologically unhealthy and instable if they decline competence, efficacy and opportunity. They may become neurotic, nervous or depress. It can be said that they require suitable surroundings which influence them to experience success. External individuals may be easy going, relaxed and lead a pleasant life (Hans, 2000; Hattie, Marsh, Neill & Richards, 1997).

An internal locus of control is composed of dependent events mostly related to one's permanent characteristics. Three types of locus of control had been acknowledged. Foremost, internal locus of control reflects the trust that one has personage control in surplus of the proceedings to make possible happen. Succeeding, authoritative other locus of control is the conviction that proceedings are not resolute by one's own behavior, excluding by persons who are in positions of power over the human being. Third, unidentified locus of control is at what time a person does not acquainted with why actions take place (Doumas, Halloran, John & Margolin, 1999).

Any individual enrolled in graduation program and previously have passed an undergraduate program is called a graduation student. Mostly these individuals are enrolled in master degree program.

My aim is to study the level of Locus of Control in graduation students.

Keeping in view the objectives following hypothesis is formulated.

  • There would be a significant difference on General Locus of Control among men and women.

Ghasemzadeh and Saadat (2011) assessed that female students for the locus of chance control received higher scores than the male students. The students of the faculties of basic sciences, psychology and educational sciences, power and computer showed significant difference on the locus of internal control and external locus of control. Internal locus of control with meaningful level had a direct and positive relationship with the educational achievement of students.

A study aimed to find out the role of self esteem, locus of control, and big five personality traits in predicting hopelessness of students. Results reveal that internal locus of control; self esteem and extraversion predicted hopelessness (Balbag, Cemrek & Mutlu, 2010).

A research aimed to study relationship among self esteem and locus of control of university students. According to the results, all self esteem components have a positive and considerable relationship with internal locus of control, though this relationship became negative at the time conversating regarding external and likelihood kinds (Ghasemzadeh, Karami, Saadat & Soleimani, 2012).

A study conducted which aimed to examine the possible links between academic locus of control and self handicapping. It was conclude that self handicapping is positively correlated with internal academic locus of control (Akin, 2011).

Purpose of a study was to determine the locus of control and level of assertiveness in students depending on different variables. Significant results concerning the assertiveness and locus of control levels of students were obtained (Çağlar, Dinçyurek & Silman, 2009).

A study explored variations in cognitive learning strategies and computer attitudes amongst college students, based on gender category and locus of control. Results demonstrated that the level of adherence to cognitive learning strategies on the part of female college students was considerably higher as compared to those of male college students, especially in terms of memorization, analytical, plus explanation. Observance of cognitive learning strategies was found to be significantly higher for college students with internal locus of control as compared to those with external locus of control in terms of summarization plus preparation (Akturk, Kesici & Sahin, 2009).

In a descriptive study used quantitative and qualitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions of locus of control and the academic success. Students with external locus of control were more likely to have lower medical surgical theory grades, more likely to be Filipino or from other Asian groups, and more likely to be students for whom English was their second language (Wood, Saylor & Cohen, 2009).

Students are the future of any nation. Students with good motivation level have good ambitions in life as a result they play a vital role in nation building. Number of elements can predict motivational level of students. In this study a construct selected which has major contribution in motivation. Graduation level is the stage which plays a role of bridge between academic and professional life. That's why this stage is chosen to measure individual's motivational level. It can help to predict the degree of good contribution in nation building.

In the literature review it is clear that in current era locus of control is significantly correlated with academic achievement. Bowling, Eschleman and Wang (2010) investigated, internal locus of control normally yielded stronger association with work related criterion (e.g. job satisfaction, affective assurance, and burnout) than external locus of control. This construct has been studied in other countries with different populations, frequently amongst students and teachers. In Pakistani culture as per my knowledge significant literature is not available so this study will be a good contribution in this area of investigation. The major contribution of this study will be to explore the possible existence of this construct in Pakistani culture and then to help in further studies. This study mainly help the educationists, specifically teachers, psychologists and counselors to keep in view the role of locus of control while dealing individuals especially students. Further it can help to know the problems faced by the students' community in the context of this construct.


2.1. Participants

Sample consisted of individuals (N=200) both men (n=100) and women (n=100) between the ages of 18 to 25 years; all of them had been graduation enrolled, had been resident of Pakistan for at least 10 years and lived in Punjab. Convenient sampling technique was used for sample selection. Sample selected from academic institutes located in Faisalabad division Punjab Pakistan. Data were collected from participants in rooms with the permission of concerned authorities. The present study was based on comparative group research design. A less number of participants were in current research because most of the institutes were closed for summer vacation from where a large number of individuals can participate. That's why students from selective institutes were participated. These were the students which were attending additional classes (for diplomas other than graduation study, or next year classes). These institutes were randomly seleted.

Inclusion Criteria: Men and women between 18 to 25 years of age bachelors were enrolled in graduation located in Faisalabad division of Punjab residents of Pakistan at least from last 10 years.

Exclusion Criteria: Individuals not enrolled in graduation, graduated, less than 18 years and more than 25 years and married men and women living in other then Faisalabad division were not included in the study.

Research Design: The present study was based on comparative group research design. Locus of Control was compared in both genders among Graduation students.

2.2. Research Instrument

Rotter's 29item Locus of Control: A 29 item Locus of Control questionnaire developed by Rotter (1966) used in this study to measure Locus of control directions.

2.3. Procedure

In order to assess the level of locus of control in graduation students Rotter's 29item Locus of Control developed by Rotter (1966) was used. The instrument was in English version. For the purpose of data collection different academies of Faisalabad division were visited. Sample was consisting of 200 individuals, 100 men, and 100 women between the ages of 18 to 25 years and at least enrolled in graduation. According to the APA ethics institutional approval considered first and Directors of academic institutes cooperated as much as they can. Then the subjects were approached and briefed about the purpose of the study after obtaining their consent to participate in the study. At the next step Rotter's 29item Locus of Controlprovided to the participants. Participants were briefed about the study purpose and they were assured for confidentiality. Then they were instructed orally and in written form about how to respond to each scale as well as about the demographic information. They were instructed that while responding at Rotter's 29item Locus of Control scale they should chose any one of the two options. The participants completed the scale and demographic sheet in 30 to 40 minutes.

In procedure the researcher approached respondents in their respective institutions in different cities of Punjab. The researcher has to face some problems like a few institutions refuse to cooperate but she dealt with all the issues and collect the data in time from alternative cities. After the process of data collection the researcher interpreted the data with the help of manual of the scale. In the present research comparative group design t-test was used for the statistical analysis of the data through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).


The current research focused on the level of locus of control in graduation students. This study tried to find out, if Locus of Control has different levels in men and women. A sample selected comprised of 200 graduation enrolled student selected from different private educational institutes of Faisalab|ad division. To measure locus of control a 29 item Locus of Control questionnaire (Rotter, 1966) used. This construct is important for a person's perception and reaction to environmental stimuli. Locus of control is linked with self efficacy, if self efficacy is high then an individual have high internal locus of control and low efficacy responsible to develop external locus of control. Males turned to be more internal locus of control. Females turn to be more external locus of control. To assess this hypothesis statistical analysis was run through SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) Version 16. Statistical tool of t-test used to obtain the results. Obtained results are given here.

3.1. Hypothesis 1

There would be a significant difference on General Locus of Control among men and women. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the means of men and women graduate students through independent samplet-test. The results are given in table 1.

This hypothesis was tested by comparing the means of men and women graduation students through independent samplet-test. The results are given in table 1.

An exploration examined sexual category differences on locus of control scores for students in the company of learning disabilities. Considerable differences were set up by sexual category. On each and every one assessment girls' means were supplementary external than boys' (Wehmeyer, 1993). This study shows female students have more external locus of control.

Parsons and Schneider (1974) administered the Rotter Internal External Locus of Control (IE) Scale to students of both genders. Significant Sexual category difference found that females were more external. This study also indicates that female students have more external locus of control than male.

Schultz and Schultz (2005) pointed out; significant gender differences in locus of control have not been found for adults in the U.S. population. However, they cite evidence that men may have a higher internal locus for queries related to educational attainment. Men have high internal locus of control as indicated by this study.

The research of Schneewind (1995) recommended that "children in great solitary parent families headed by women are additional probable to expand an external locus of control". This indicates women have high external locus of control and children developed under the women supervision would also develop external locus of control.

All these studies support the results of hypothesis 1. Results of the current research are consistent with earlier studies as approved by the literature.


Current research was carried out to explore the level of locus of control among graduation men and womenstudents in Pakistani culture.Locus of control direction is a confidence in relation to whether the outcomes of our proceedings are conditional on what they do (internal control compass reading) or on actions outside their own control (external control compass reading). Sample of(N=200) individuals(n=100) men and(n=100) women selected from different academic institutes located in Faisalabad division Punjab Pakistan.Independent sample t-test was used for statistical analysis. One main hypothesis was formulated for the study.This study has also consistent results with the earlier studies that reported a significant difference of locus of control among men and women. Current study concluded that men scored high on internal locus of control as compared to women. Women scored high on external locus of control.


Akin, A. (2011). Academic Locus of Control and SelfHandicapping. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 812-816. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.157.         [ Links ]

Akturk, A. O., Kesici, S. & Sahin, I. (2009). Analysis of cognitive learning strategies and computer attitudes, according to college students' gender and locus of control. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(2), 529-534. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2008.11.004.         [ Links ]

Balbag, Z., Cemrek, F. & Mutlu, T. (2010). The role of selfesteem, locus of control and big five personality traits in predicting hopelessness. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 1788-1792. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.12.401.         [ Links ]

Bowling, N. A., Eschleman, K. J. & Wang, Q. (2010). A MetaAnalytic Examination of Work and General Locus of Control. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(4), 761-768. doi:10.1037/a0017707.         [ Links ]

Çağlar, S., Dinçyurek, S. & Silman, F. (2009). Determination of the locus of control and level of assertiveness of the students studying in the TRNC in terms of different variables. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 12-22. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2009.01.007.         [ Links ]

Doumas, D., Halloran, E., John, R. & Margolin, G. (1999). The Relationship Between Aggression in Children and Locus of Control Beliefs. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 160(1).         [ Links ]

Ghasemzadeh, A., Karami, S., Saadat, M. & Soleimani, M. (2012). Relationship between selfesteem and locus of control in Iranian University students. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 530-535. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.12.099.         [ Links ]

Ghasemzadeh, A. & Saadat, M. (2011). Locus of Control in Iranian University Student and It́s Relationship with Academic Achievement. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 2491-2496. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.10.486.         [ Links ]

Hans, T. (2000). A metaanalysis of the effects of adventure programming on locus of control. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 30(1), 33-60.         [ Links ]

Hattie, J. A., Marsh, H. W., Neill, J. T. & Richards, G. E. (1997). Adventure Education and Outward Bound: Outofclass experiences that have a lasting effectlasting effect.         [ Links ]

Parsons, O. A. & Schneider, J. M. (1974). Locus of control in university students from Eastern and Western societies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42(3), 456-461. Retrieved from         [ Links ]

Rotter, J. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcements. Psychological Monographs, 80, 609.         [ Links ]

Schneewind, K. A. (1995). Impact of family processes on control beliefs. In A. Bandura (Ed.), Self-efficacy in changing societies (pp. 114-148). New York: Cambridge University Press.         [ Links ]

Schultz, D. P. & Schultz, S. E. (2005). Theories of Personality (8th ed.). Wadsworth: Thomson. Retrieved from         [ Links ]

Wehmeyer, M. L. (1993). Gender differences in locus of control scores for students with learning disabilities. Percept Mot Skills, 77(2), 359-366.         [ Links ]

Wood, A. M., Saylor, C. & Cohen, J. (2009). Locus of control and academic success among ethnically diverse baccalaureate nursing students. Nurs Educ Perspect, 30(5), 290-294. Retrieved from         [ Links ]