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Abstract

A conception of locus of control attribution was advanced as an alternative to the generalized expectancy view presented by Rotter. That alternative stems from regarding the individual as actively constructing a pattern of specific choice consequence relations out of his/her ongoing experience. An integration of structural and factor approaches was used to analyze the Rotter I-E scale. The structural analysis categorized items on four dimensions (focus, area, self-attribution and world attribution) and indicated that the I-E scale unevenly represents the domain it encompasses. Nevertheless, specification of that structural matrix helps to provide a more comprehensive framework for interpreting I-E response patterns of 216 high school juniors and seniors. For example, male responses cohered around asserting active control over tasks hut attributing control to external sources with regard both to personal issues and to more abstract systems-related issues. Females organized their senses of self-efficacy with a central theme being that of a passive agent stance, plus an expectation that circumstances would provide equality of opportunities to which they could respond. Thus the present approach has demonstrated its utility in interpreting I-E findings and its conceptual advantage for personality research on locus of control and on similiar attributional characteristics.