Now listen to part of a talk in a psychology class.
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're 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.
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.
If he doesn't get it,
he'll probably blame the interviewers... or bad luck...
rather than look at himself and try to figure out what he could've done better.