Uncertainty and compensatory control: How causal uncertainty affects ability to deny randomness and endorse external sources of control

Jocelyn D'Cruz (2011). Uncertainty and compensatory control: How causal uncertainty affects ability to deny randomness and endorse external sources of control Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Jocelyn D'Cruz
Thesis Title Uncertainty and compensatory control: How causal uncertainty affects ability to deny randomness and endorse external sources of control
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Stephanie Tobin
Total pages 67
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Individuals are strongly motivated to acquire and maintain a sense of control, and to understand the underlying causes of events (Edwards, Wichman, & Weary, 2009; Kay, Gaucher, Napier, Callan, & Laurin, 2008; Weary & Edwards, 1996). This research was conducted to examine how not being able to understand the cause of a social event, or one’s causal uncertainty (CU), and threatening one’s personal control would influence the ability to deny randomness and endorse external sources of control. Ninety-three undergraduate students completed a questionnaire designed to measure their level of chronic CU. Following this, half of the participants were exposed to a threat to their personal control. Participants were then measured on their ability to deny randomness, their endorsement of a controlling God and their endorsement of university control. It was hypothesised that individuals with higher levels of CU who perceived low personal control would deny randomness and endorse external sources of control less than when they perceived high personal control. It was also predicted that individuals with lower CU who perceived low personal control would deny randomness and endorse external sources of control more than when they perceived high personal control. Although these effects were observed for participants’ endorsement of university control, their level of CU was not found to affect their denial of randomness and endorsement of a controlling God when personal control was manipulated. The practical and theoretical implications, along with ideas for future research are discussed.
Keyword Casual uncertainty
Compensatory control

 
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