Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Social.




The purpose of the present study was to examine the feasibility of choiceless control in determining perceptions of control, influence, responsibility, and helplessness over outcomes. After reviewing and critiquing some traditional theories and research that exist in the control literature, a new conceptualization of control is presented. Based on research by Nickels et al. (2005), an extended research design was proposed and tested, which examined the separate effects of actual control, choice, and predictability. The present findings show significantly higher ratings of perceived influence under conditions in which individuals made their own choice (whether voluntary or involuntary) between options that made a difference (actual control) in a failed outcome that was predicted. Whereas perceived control ratings were significantly higher with actual control, feelings of responsibility over the outcome were significantly higher when actual control was combined with a voluntary choice. Although feelings of helplessness were not significantly affected, ratings of frustration over the outcome were significantly higher when actual control was combined with the prediction that a failed outcome would occur. The theoretical relevance of these findings is discussed, and the generalizability of the new conceptualization of control is explored in terms of its relation to positive psychology (e.g., humour) and cross-cultural research frameworks.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .P47. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-11, Section: B, page: 6338. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.