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Locus of Control Test

“Locus of Control” describes the extent to which people believe they have an influence over the outcomes of events in their lives. People with an internal locus of control believe they have control over their own lives, whereas people with an external locus of control are more likely to see their lives as determined by exterior forces which they cannot control.

Locus of control was discovered by the American psychologist Julian B. Rotter in 1954. Today, the concept is widely used in fields such as educational psychology, health psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, and clinical psychology.

Is your locus of control internal or external? For each of the following statements, indicate how well it describes you below.

Question 1 of 29

When I make plans, I am almost certain that I can see them through to completion.



The Locus of Control Test (IDR-LCT) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-LCT is based on the work of Dr. Julian B. Rotter, Ph.D., who created the Locus of Control Scale (LCS). The IDR-LCT is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of personality psychology, counseling psychology, or any affiliated research institutions.

The test provides feedback such as the following: Highly external locus of control: People with a very high external locus of control do not believe that their actions or decisions have much impact on the outcomes in their lives. They strongly feel that they cannot better their situation through their own efforts and that results are decided by external forces such as fate, luck, coincidence, or other people whom they regard as powerful authorities. Thus, they usually look to outside circumstances, credit chance for their successes, and generally feel powerless in their lives. They may also be more significantly prone to experience learned helplessness; that is, the inability to find solutions even when they are accessible.

Undifferentiated locus of control: Individuals with an undifferentiated locus of control exhibit elements of both internal and external locus of control adaptations depending on the situation. In some cases, they are liable to believe that they can exercise control over the outcomes of events in their lives and think that such results are determined by their own efforts and abilities. However, they will at other times also be likely to believe that their actions or decisions do not have much impact on the type of outcomes they get and that results are decided by external forces such as fate, luck, coincidence, or external, powerful “others.”

The IDRlabs Locus of Control Test was informed by the concepts reflected in the LCS as published in Rotter, J. (1966). ‘Generalized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement’, Psychological Monographs 80 (1), 1–28). Lumpkin, J. R. (1985). Validity of a Brief Locus of Control Scale for Survey Research. Psychological Reports, 57(2), 655–659.  Schjoedt, L. & Shaver, K. (2012). Development and validation of a locus of control scale for the entrepreneurship domain. Small Business Economics, 39, 3, pp. 713-726.

The work of Dr. Rotter has informed the diagnostic criteria in the form of the widely used tool, the Locus of Control Scale. The present test is intended for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and the present IDRlabs Locus of Control Test are independent of the above researchers, organizations, or their affiliated institutions.

The IDRlabs Locus of Control Test is based on a famous and well-regarded tool that measures your perception of how your own attributes or external forces influence a reward. However, free online tests and quizzes such as this one are solely first takes and cannot provide accurate assessments of your potential attitude. Hence, the test is intended to be used for educational purposes only. A definitive personality, attitude, or relationship assessment can be made only by a qualified, pertinent professional.

As the publishers of this free online Locus of Control Test, which allows you to screen yourself for the characteristics and manifestations of your perception as to the influencer of events, we have striven to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting it to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present Locus of Control Test do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This Locus of Control Test is delivered to you free of charge and will allow you to obtain your scores related to an internal locus of control and an external locus of control.

2. Scholarly oriented. The feedback delivered by this instrument is based on the work of Ph.D.s and is designed to deliver a clear picture of the respondent’s current traits indicating locus of control as measured according to standardized items.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.