Rotating Headportrait Illusion See Appendix A

ROTTER'S SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY. = internal-external control of reinforcement. The American psychologist Julian Bernard Rotter (1916- ) formulated a social learning theory that combines the Hullian concept of reinforcement with the Tolmanian concept of cognition to describe situations where the individual has a number of behavioral options (behavioral potential theory). In Rotter's approach, each potential behavior of the person is related to an outcome that has a particular reinforcement value associated with it, as well as an expectancy concerning the likelihood of the reinforcers following each behavior. Thus, Rotter's theory may be characterized as an expectancy-value model where the likelihood of a behavior's occurrence is a function of both the value of the reinforcer associated with it and the probability of the reinforcer occurring. In Rotter's model, the value and probability of various reinforcers are unique to the person, and it is the person's internal value and expectancy calculations that are important rather than some objective measure of value and probability. Rotter proposes that situations may be assessed, also, in terms of the outcomes (i.e., expectancy and value of reinforcers) associated with specific behaviors, as well as suggesting that individuals develop expectations that hold across many situations (called generalized expectancies). Among Rotter's generalized expectancies are interpersonal trust (i.e., the degree to which one can rely on the word of others), and internal versus external locus of control of reinforcement (also called, simply, locus of control), which has received a great deal of research attention in psychology. According to Rotter's approach, persons who score high on measures of internal locus of control expect that outcomes or reinforcers depend mostly on their own efforts, whereas persons scoring high on external locus of control have an expectancy that outcomes depend largely on external forces such as others, including the factors of luck, chance, and fate. Theoretically, external locus of control types of individuals typically feel relatively helpless in relation to events. Rotter developed the "Internal-External (I-E) Scale" to measure individual differences in generalized expectancies concerning the extent to which punishments and rewards are under external or internal control. Variations of the I-E Scale have appeared, also, in research in the areas of health and children's behavior. Although Rotter's theory had a large impact on research in personality and social learning psychology for about a decade (his 1966 monograph on generalized expectancies was the most frequently cited single article in the social sciences since 1969), its influence has declined recently -perhaps due to the fact that the locus of control scale has been found to be more complex than was expected originally. See also BAN-DURA'S THEORY; EXPECTANCY THEORY; HULL'S LEARNING THEORY; REINFORCEMENT THEORY; TOLMAN'S THEORY.

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