The Rotter Locus of Control Scale in 43 Countries: A Test of Cultural Relativity

Peter B. Smith*, Fons Trompenaars, Shaun Dugan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A databank of 9140 responses to the Rotter (1966) locus of control scale was analyzed, using multidimensional scaling techniques. Respondents were employees in business organizations in 43 countries. Three interpretable dimensions were identified. The first was interpreted in terms of Schwartz's (1992) dimensions of mastery over the environment versus harmony with the environment. It also correlated significantly with country means for internality. The second distinguished responses from countries identified by Hofstede (1980) as individualist and collectivist. The third referred principally to the role of luck and chance. Parallels with the results of Levenson (1981) and the implications of convergence with the results of cross‐cultural studies not based upon the concept of locus of control are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-400
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


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