Locus of control is an important concept in various areas of psychology. It refers to the degree to which a person believes that he or she can influence his or her live through his/her own actions. In other words, to what degree does someone believe to be in control.

The first Locus of Control test was developed by one of the most cited psychologists, namely the late Julian Rotter. It is a forced choice list of statements. There are many other tests, but this is the orignal one, and has been tested well.

It is difficult to distinguish locus-of-control from self efficacy. There are different views on whether these are different concepts or not (Judge et al, 2002). Self efficacy can also be measured with PsyToolkit (click here).
An explanatory video about the differences between self esteem, self efficacy, and locus of control.

Run the demo

It seems that the scale can be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (References).


This is a multiradio question. Some questions are "fillers". That is, they are added to prevent a response bias by the participant.

The multiradio question type is not often used (but see this one as well).

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: loc
q: For each pair of statements, choose the one you agree with most.<br>
If you do not agree with either of them, choose the one that is least<br>
objectionable or remote.<br>
t: multiradio 2
o: random
o: scores 0 1
- Children get into trouble because their patents punish them too much.
- The trouble with most children nowadays is that their parents are too easy with them.
 - People's misfortunes result from the mistakes they make.
 - Many of the unhappy things in people's lives are partly due to bad luck.
- One of the major reasons why we have wars is because people don't take enough interest in politics.
- There will always be wars, no matter how hard people try to prevent them.
 - In the long run people get the respect they deserve in this world
 - Unfortunately, an individual's worth often passes unrecognized no matter how hard he tries
- The idea that teachers are unfair to students is nonsense.
- Most students don't realize the extent to which their grades are influenced by accidental happenings.
 - Capable people who fail to become leaders hive not taken advantage of their opportunities.
 - Without the right breaks one cannot be an effective leader.
- People who can't get others to like them don't understand how to get along with others.
- No matter how hard you try some people just don't like you.
 - Heredity plays the major role in determining one's personality
 - It is one's experiences in life which determine what they're like.
- Trusting to fate has never turned out as well for me as making a decision to take a definite course of action.
- I have often found that what is going to happen will happen.
 - In the case of the well prepared student there is rarely if ever such a thing as an unfair test.
 - Many times exam questions tend to be so unrelated to course work that studying in really useless.
- Becoming a success is a matter of hard work, luck has little or nothing to do with it.
- Getting a good job depends mainly on being in the right place at the right time.
 - The average citizen can have an influence in government decisions.
 - This world is run by the few people in power, and there is not much the little guy can do about it.
- When I make plans, I am almost certain that I can make them work.
- It is not always wise to plan too far ahead because many things turn out to- be a matter of good or bad fortune anyhow.
 - There are certain people who are just no good.
 - There is some good in everybody.
- In my case getting what I want has little or nothing to do with luck.
- Many times we might just as well decide what to do by flipping a coin.
 - Getting people to do the right thing depends upon ability. Luck has little or nothing to do with it.
 - Who gets to be the boss often depends on who was lucky enough to be in the right place first.
- By taking an active part in political and social affairs the people can control world events.
- As far as world affairs are concerned, most of us are the victims of forces we can neither understand, nor control.
 - There really is no such thing as "luck."
 - Most people don't realize the extent to which their lives are controlled by accidental happenings.
- One should always be willing to admit mistakes.
- It is usually best to cover up one's mistakes.
 - How many friends you have depends upon how nice a person you are.
 - It is hard to know whether or not a person really likes you.
- Most misfortunes are the result of lack of ability, ignorance, laziness, or all three.
- In the long run the bad things that happen to us are balanced by the good ones.
 - With enough effort we can wipe out political corruption.
 - It is difficult for people to have much control over the things politicians do in office.
- There is a direct connection between how hard 1 study and the grades I get.
- Sometimes I can't understand how teachers arrive at the grades they give.
 - A good leader expects people to decide for themselves what they should do.
 - A good leader makes it clear to everybody what their jobs are.
- It is impossible for me to believe that chance or luck plays an important role in my life.
- Many times I feel that I have little influence over the things that happen to me.
 - People are lonely because they don't try to be friendly.
 - There's not much use in trying too hard to please people, if they like you, they like you.
- There is too much emphasis on athletics in high school.
- Team sports are an excellent way to build character.
 - What happens to me is my own doing.
 - Sometimes I feel that I don't have enough control over the direction my life is taking.
- In the long run the people are responsible for bad government on a national as well as on a local level.
- Most of the time I can't understand why politicians behave the way they do.

l: loc_score
t: set
- sum $loc.2 $loc.3 $loc.4 $loc.5 $loc.6 $loc.7 $loc.9 $loc.10 $loc.11 $loc.12 $loc.13 $loc.15 $loc.16 $loc.17 $loc.18 $loc.20 $loc.21 $loc.22 $loc.23 $loc.25 $loc.26 $loc.28 $loc.29

l: feedback
t: info
q: The score can possibly lie between 0 and 23).<br>
You score is {$loc_score}<br>
Remember your score. After this question, there is a link back to the text about<br>
the scale, and you can compare your score to that of others.<br>


  • J.B. Rotter. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80, (1, Whole No. 609).

  • Judge, T. A., Erez, A., Bono, J. E., & Thoresen, C. J. (2002). Are measures of self-esteem, neuroticism, locus of control, and generalized self-efficacy indicators of a common core construct? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 693-710.