Psychological Self-Help

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give up. Yet, if just a few seconds before dying the rats are permitted
to escape from the water, the next time they are put into the water
they will swim 40 or 60 or 80 hours. They apparently have learned to
have hope. We all need hope. 
The little I-E Scale has resulted in extensive research (Lefcourt,
1976; Phares, 1976). Internalizers try harder to change their
environment and to change themselves. This involves being more
perceptive, gathering more information, remembering it better, and
using more facts and care in decision-making about how to cope.
Internalizers may be less likely to blindly follow orders; they are more
likely to realize there are choices to be made and rely on their own
judgment. Of course, when internalizers fail, it is harder for them to
say "it isn't important" or "it's someone else's fault" than it is for
externalizers. Yet, externalizers are more anxious (lack of hope?). 
Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is
that strong people admit them, laugh at them, learn from them. That is how they become
-Richard Needham
Remember, regardless of how little confidence you have now in
your self-control, there are some internalizer beliefs and some
externalizer beliefs in all of us. Furthermore, how we see ourselves
(internalizer or externalizer) may depend upon the situation and on
whether we are considering successful outcomes or failures. Most
importantly, as we gain self-control skills we become more confident
There is a tendency, supported by research, to think of
internalizers as being healthy and externalizers as being maladjusted.
There is some logic to this; however, Rotter believed extremes in both
directions were unhealthy. Internalizers may overestimate their control
(there is no guarantee that an internalizer will be competent and some
situations are unchangeable) and may be disappointed when they
don't get what they wanted--and/or they may feel especially guilty and
sad about failing. Externalizers overlook their opportunities to
influence the situation and may feel unnecessarily helpless. Ideal, as I
see it, would be to maximize your control where possible and, at the
same time, increase your acceptance of the unavoidable (the Serenity
It should be noted that other overlapping factors are important in
accounting for our lives, in addition to the internal or external locus of
control. For example, there are stable and unstable factors, like
intellect is fairly stable but mood is changeable. Weiner (1980)
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