Quiz: What Controls Your Life? Test Your Locus of Control

Destiny or Self Control?

Learn about your locus of control and feel empowered.
Learn about your locus of control and feel empowered. Peter Cade/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Do you feel trapped by the stressful circumstances of your life? Or do you feel that anything is within your reach? Your locus of control, or how you see your ability to create change in your life, has a great deal to do with your stress level, your happiness, and even your health. Those with an internal locus of control, there are strong perceived links between behavior and consequences, and between outcome and personal effort.

 If you have an internal locus of control, this means that you feel responsible for the things that happen in your life, and feel a strong level of control over your fate. Those with an external locus of control perceive things differently; they believe that their own actions are dependent on factors outside their personal control.  An external locus of control describes a mindset that attributes control of things to outside sources, such as chance, luck, or other people.  They see consequences as random and unpredictable.  

There is considerable research supporting the notion that those with an external locus of control tend to feel more empowered, experience higher levels of happiness and wellbeing and feel greater life satisfaction.  (It is also interesting to note that taking too much responsibility for things that go wrong can lead to greater levels of stress--read more about explanatory style, pessimism and stress, and find simple strategies to change this habit if you blame yourself too often when things go wrong.)

So given what we know about locus of control, it really helps to know if you tend toward internal or external locus of control.  This 12-question quiz is designed to help you assess your habitual thinking styles and ways of viewing the world, and supply you with tools for creating a healthier, less stressed attitude.


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April, K., Dhanari, B., and Peters, K.(2012).  Impact of Locus of Control Expectancy on Level of Well-Being.  Review of European Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2; June 2012.

Carrim, N. M. H., Basson, J., & Coetzee, M. (2006). The relationship between job satisfaction and locus of control in a South African call centre environment. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 30(2), 66-81.