Nuclear locus of control scales: Information on development, reliability, and validity

James B. Rounds, Paul Erdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three Nuclear Locus of Control (NLOC) scales based on ideas presented by Levenson (1981) and Lefcourt (1982) are described, and data on their reliability, validity, and factor structure are reported. Three scales were constructed to assess beliefs about whether nuclear war and nuclear policy decisions are, or can be, influenced by oneself (system control), powerful others, or chance. Based on the responses of 475 students, a factor analysis of NLOC items supported a tripartite model of locus of control. The System control scale demonstrated high internal consistency, while modest alpha coefficients were found for the Powerful Others and Chance scales. Evidence for construct validity was provided by the finding of expected relationships between the NLOC scales and measures of anti-nuclear past behaviors and behavioral intentions, suggesting that these scales may be useful in understanding reactions to the threat of nuclear war.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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