Effects of personality-situation locus of control congruence

Thomas K. Srull, Stuart A. Karabenick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tested the effects of combining personality and situation differences in locus of control on cheating behavior. 80 college students were classified as having relatively high internal or external locus of control beliefs using Rotter's Internal-External Control Scale. In subsequent individually conducted sessions, Ss were given the opportunity to falsely report success (i.e., to cheat) when success was objectively impossible and when the outcome was described as due to either skill or chance. A significant (p < .001) Personality × Situation Locus of control interaction found cheating more prevalent in congruent personality-situation combinations (internal-skill and external-chance) than in incongruent combinations (internal-chance and external-skill). Additional significant effects involving task persistence and postperformance effort ratings suggested accounting for the results in an achievement motivational framework. As the Personality × Situation Locus of control interaction accounted for a large proportion of the variance, results are considered to be supportive of an interactionist position regarding behavior prediction. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-628
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1975
Externally publishedYes


  • personality &
  • situation differences in locus of control, cheating behavior, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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