The relationship between Locus of Control and the South African National Political Environment


Locus of control refers to the prediction of how reinforcements change expectancies. An internal locus of control was previously reported to be associated with access to political and economic power in “Apartheid” South Africa. The democratisation ofSouth Africagave equal access to political power to all its citizens. This study set out to investigate whether post-apartheid political changes have altered the way a group of technical engineers in the public service perceived their own ability to influence their personal lives and political environment. A total of 297 male participants with a mean age of 30 years, comprising Black, Mixed-race, and White government employees, completed Rotter’s Internality-Externality Scale. This was scored using Ferguson’s (1993) two-factor solution, which comprised of a personal and a political control factor. The scores of the three race groups were then compared. Results indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups on the total score and scores on the Personal Control factor. All participants believed in an equal internal control over their personal lives. However, Black respondents scored more external than the other race groups on the Political Control factor, indicating a perception of lesser influence over political affairs. The results suggest that the effects of the shift in political power have not fully filtered down to ordinary citizens yet.

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Wijk, C. (2013). The relationship between Locus of Control and the South African National Political Environment. Psychology, 4, 937-939. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412135.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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