Monday, February 04, 2008

Are you ready for change: What’s your Locus of Control score?

Hi Friends,

Recently I had some opportunities to do psychometric tests. One of these is the Rotter’s Locus of Control scale.

Locus of Control:

Locus of control refers to how individuals attribute responsibilities for events that happen to their lives. In simple terms, do we feel that most things that happen to us are beyond our control? That our social structure or our office hierarchy are so fixed and entrenched that nothing we do can meaningfully change or improve it? That if the government says there should be an ERP gantry on every street, we just have to take it or leave it(ie migrate) ?

Or are you someone who feels that “Impossible is nothing” ( to borrow a commercial slogan) and that if there is a will, there is a way? That the journey of a thousand miles start with the first step? (OK enough of cliches)

Generally, common sense tells us that there are factors both within and without our controls. The "within's" include one’s abilities; efforts and the "without's" fate; luck and powerful others (eg politicians; business billionaires).

People who believe that destiny lies within their own hands are deemed as having Internal Locus of Control whilst those who perceive that factors extrinsic to themselves determine their personal outcomes have External Locus of Control.

A person’s locus of control could have developed from Accumulative causes (eg childhood upbringing; social deprivation) or Episodic causes such as life-changing events like near-death experiences such as accidents or natural disasters.

Are you ready to face the facts and find out your score? Are you are an “internal” or an “external”? Be honest.

I may reveal my score later as a comment.

Best wishes and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

PS: I just got my 100000th hit the past few days! ( and I was not hitting this blog myself!)


Rotter's Locus of Control Scale ( Choose a or b for each of the following questions)

1. a. Children get into trouble because their patents punish them too much.
b. The trouble with most children nowadays is that their parents are too easy with them.

2. a. Many of the unhappy things in people's lives are partly due to bad luck.
b. People's misfortunes result from the mistakes they make.

3. a. One of the major reasons why we have wars is because people don't take enough
interest in politics.
b. There will always be wars, no matter how hard people try to prevent them.

4. a. In the long run people get the respect they deserve in this world
b. Unfortunately, an individual's worth often passes unrecognized no matter how hard he tries

5. a. The idea that teachers are unfair to students is nonsense.
b. Most students don't realize the extent to which their grades are influenced by accidental happenings.

6. a. Without the right breaks one cannot be an effective leader.
b. Capable people who fail to become leaders hive not taken advantage of their opportunities.

7. a. No matter how hard you try some people just don't like you.
b. People who can't get others to like them don't understand how to get along with others.

8. a. Heredity plays the major role in determining one's personality
b. It is one's experiences in life which determine what they're like.

9. a. I have often found tlint what is going to happen will happen.
b. Trusting to fate has never turned out as well for me as making a decision to take a definite course of action.

10. a. In the case of the well prepared student there is rarely if ever such.a thing as an unfair test.
b. Many times exam questions tend to be so unrelated to course work that studying in really useless.

11. a. Becoming a success is a matter of hard work, hick has little or nothing to do with it.
b. Getting a good job depends mainly on being in the right place at the. right time.

12. a. The average citizen can have an influence in government decisions.
b. This world is run by the few people in power, and there is not much the little guy can do about it.

13. a. When I make plans, I am almost certain that I can make them work.
b. It is not always wise to plan too far ahead because many things turn out to- be a matter of good or bad fortune anyhow.

14. a. There are certain people who are just no good.
b. There is some good in everybody.

15. a. In my case getting what I want has little or nothing to do with luck.
b. Many times we might just as well decide what to do by flipping a coin.

16. a. Who gets to be the boss often depends on who was lucky enough to be in the right place first.
b. Getting people to do the right thing depends upon ability, luck has little or nothing to do with it.

17. a. As far as world affairs are concerned, most of us are the victims of forces we can neither understand, nor control.
b. By taking an active part in political and social affairs the people can control world events.

18. a. Most people don't realize the extent to which their lives are controlled by accidental happenings.
b. There really is no such thing as "luck."

19. a. One should always be willing to admit mistakes.
b. It is usually best to cover up one's mistakes.

20. a. It is hard to know whether or not a person really likes you.
b. How many friends you have depends upon how nice a person you are.

21. a. In the long run the bad things that happen to us are balanced by the good ones.
b. Most misfortunes are the result of lack of ability, ignorance, laziness, or all three.

22. a. With enough effort we can wipe out political corruption.
b. It is difficult for people to have much control over the things politicians do in office.

23. a. Sometimes I can't understand how teachers arrive at the grades they give.
b. There is a direct connection between how hard 1 study and the grades I get.

24. a. A good leader expects people to decide for themselves what they should do.
b. A good leader makes it clear to everybody what their jobs are.

25. a. Many times 1 feel that I have little influence over the things that happen to me.
b. It is impossible for me to believe that chance or luck plays an important role in my life.

26. a. People are lonely because they don't try to be friendly.
b. There's not much use in trying too hard to please people, if they like you, they like you.

27. a. There is too much enphasis on athletics in high school.
b. Team sports are an excellent way to build character.

28. a. What happens to me is my own doing.
b. Sometimes I feel that I don't have enough control over the direction my life is taking.

29. a. Most of the time I can't understand why politicians behave the way they do.
b. In the long run the people are responsible for bad government on a national as well as on a local level.

Score one point for each of the following:
2.a, 3.b, 4.b, 5.b, 6.a, 7.a, 9.a, 10.b, 11.b, 12.b, 13.b, 15.b, 16.a, 17.a, 18.a, 20.a,
21.a, 22.b, 23.a, 25.a, 26.b, 28.b, 29.a.

A high score = External Locus of Control
A low score = Internal Locus of Control

Locus of Control

Locus of Control refers to the extent to which individuals believe that they can control events that affect them. Individuals with a high internal locus of control believe that events result primarily from their own behavior and actions. Those with a high external locus of control believe that powerful others, fate, or chance primarily determine events. Those with a high internal locus of control have better control of their behaviour and tend to exhibit more political behaviors than externals and are more likely to attempt to influence other people; they are more likely to assume that their efforts will be successful. They are more active in seeking information and knowledge concerning their situation than do externals.The propensity to engage in political behavior is stronger for individuals who have a high internal locus of control than for those who have a high external locus of control.

Links to:
Locus of control

PS: By the Way, My score is 0 (Zero). That means I have strong internal locus of control. That means I always try to change things and will not accept that everything needs be the same.


Wei Sian said...

Chance upon your blog and found the topics wide ranging and engaging .... I would be interest to see a doctor's view on means testing which I'm looking into as well.

nofearSingapore said...

About Means testing

Hi wei sian, you may be surprised to know that actually I think means testing is required in a situation where Limited resources is facing limitless demands.

Healthcare’s demand is potentially unending. It is a no-brainer that if given a choice of paying or nor paying for a service, I would choose the latter. If the choice is paying less or paying more, it is equally a no-brainer.

If all decides to pay less (or not pay at all), then who will pay for the public services such as Healthcare? This still comes from the same pool of tax collected from all of us. If more tax is used to pay for all of us when we get admitted, there will be less money for the other public services of education/infrastructures etc.

So the solution is not to cancel means testing but to make it more accurate in defining who deserves discounted treatment or free surgery. Definitely, the poor and helpless should be first in this queue and the multi-millionaire tycoon ( who is prudent with his money) should be somewhere in the tail-end of the queue.

The unhappiness is that the present mode of testing is very “blunt” and assigns all who stay in private housing or who have middle-class children as undeserving of the maximum subsidy. How does the system know that this old man/woman is being neglected by his children ( even if the house is a bungalow) and the children are unfilial? It is difficult to differentiate the truly poor from the those who just want to pay less.

I have the greatest respects for the doctors in the government hospitals. Although there are earning very decent salaries, they work very hard ( I think due to our govt’s mistaken overpopulation policies). Compared with most other countries, I can say that very few poor patients in Singapore do not get the care they deserve. If the surgery is very complex, the most senior surgeon will operate on them.

But don’t expect any patient to demand that the most senior doctor operate on them for “garden variety” conditions.

I know my answer won’t please many who feel the effects of inflation everywhere ( including healthcare), but have a thought for the doctors ( who mostly have good hearts) who stay up late making sure that we all live to see another day.


Wei Sian said...

Haha... your comments are almost a post by itself.

I tend to agree with the philosophy behind means testing. The Health Minister is probably prescribing a small dosage of medicine for a start to observe if that is sufficient to address the issue as well as not to cause too much 'side effects'

My worry is mainly on when further adjustments is required. An example is the Medishield, from the average of $10/ annum increment to improve the scheme to the 'average of $120/annum' as reported recently.

I hope all parties would be responsible for keeping control on cost. From sharing of the burden between govt and the people, to managing a efficient health care system. Maybe a central authority for drugs purchase? So we can buy in negotiate for lower cost if purchasing in bulk.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi Wei Sian,
I understand your reservation about how we start with deducting $10 which increases to $100 before we know it. Just like the Minimal Sum in CPF!
Although I am also suspicious of this “Slippery slope” argument but by itself “means testing” is a known process used elsewhere too.
To share with you a secret known amongst doctors, the Medishield is mostly not useful unless the patient stays for a long period of time in a subsidised ward. If in a A or B1 class ward for a surgery with short-term stay ( eg less than 3 days), the payment from Medishield will only be a small proportion of the total bill. Most of my patients get less than $100-300! Serious! And most of us do not understand the mechanism for calculating the payout etc!
About bulk drugs payment- My pharmaceutical friends tell me that the govt hospital squeeze the pharma companies for steep discount but the govt hospitals mostly dispense generic “non-original” drugs. This is effective for most conditions but my gut feeling is that for other conditions, the original “proprietory” medications are more effective ( but more expensive).

Wei Sian said...

Yes, Medishield is presenting a very misleading impression to many people. Otherwise, it is logical to design it in such a manner to make the premiums remain affordable.

The scheme caters to treatment which are catastrophic and major requring long term care.

In such a situation where the bill escalates over a period of time would Medishield cover a larger proportion of the bill.

Otherwise due to the co-payment features incorporated, the average patient would still have to fund the treatment with a mixture of Medisave and Cash since Medisave withdrawal has their own set of limits.