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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-104

The relationship between happiness, self-control and locus of control

1 Department of Educational Sciences, Lecturer of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Shiraz Branch, Payame Noor University, Shiraz, Iran
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology, Marvdasht branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran

Date of Web Publication27-Feb-2015

Correspondence Address:
Seyede Golafrouz Ramezani
Shiraz Payamenoor University, Shiraz
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.152222

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Aim: The aim of this study was explored the relationship between happiness, self-control, and locus of control (LOC). Methods: Research method in this survey was descriptive and correlational. A sample of 200 college students ranging from 18 to 28 years of age was studied using cluster sampling method. To collect data, a use was made of three questionnaires included the Oxford Happiness Inventory, self-control scale of Nikmanesh [1] and Rotter's LOC. Data analysis involved multiple regression analysis and one-way analysis of variance. Results: The results of this study indicated that, happiness is positively and significantly related to self-control. Furthermore, self-control was the strongest predictor for happiness. Conclusion: It was also suggested that self-control is positively and significantly related to LOC.

Keywords: Happiness, self-control, locus of control

How to cite this article:
Ramezani SG, Gholtash A. The relationship between happiness, self-control and locus of control. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2015;1:100-4

How to cite this URL:
Ramezani SG, Gholtash A. The relationship between happiness, self-control and locus of control. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2024 Feb 24];1:100-4. Available from: https://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/2/100/152222

  Introduction Top

The study of personality has evolved during the past two decades, shifting the focus from assessing personality traits or thought processes associated with unacceptable or negative behaviors to studying related more productive or positive behaviors. Positive personality characteristics happiness, self-control and locus of control (LOC). [2] For many years, the topic of happiness remained neglected. Happiness is the key to mental health and subjective well-being. [3],[4] Happiness is born not only from "self," but also from "environmental elements" that influence the human feeling of happiness.

Diener and Larsen (1984) found that positive and negative effect in various work and leisure situations was more due to persons or internal LOC (52%) than to (23%) situations or external LOC. [5] In the end, the happy, free spirit is not a person that is void of self-control, but a person that is able actually to have control over their own thoughts, decisions, and actions. [6] In this section, the concepts used in the study are being discussed under the following heads:


Happiness can be defined in four aspects: (1) Free of physical sufferings, illnesses or disabilities; (2) being socially acceptable, getting along well with other people, being respected and cared for, not being isolated; (3) free of worries and hardships, being able to live a carefree and joyful life; and (4) possessing a healthy, normal mind, being accepted by the society. [7]


Notions of self-control are discussed in the psychological literature in relation to the development of motor skills, attention and cognition, and with regard to emotion. [8]

Locus of control

It refers to a set of beliefs about the relationship between behavior and the subsequent occurrence of reward and punishment. [9] It is defined as a circumscribed self-appraisal pertaining to the degree to which individual view themselves as having some causal role in determining specified events. It has two components: When an individual believes that he/she can control his/her own success and failure due to his efforts or relatively permanent characteristics (internal LOC).

When people believe that their lives are controlled by forces outside themselves like luck, chance, fate, etc., (external LOC).

In recent years, many efforts were done to show the reasons and results of happiness [10] and many of researchers said that happiness is social welfare of psychological, mental and mind. [11] One of them is Rayan and Dessi (2001) that said happiness is like social welfare and mental lucky. [12]

Happiness is an emotion. It is a positive emotion or feeling described by words like contentment, a sense of well-being, satisfaction etc. Happiness can be defined in the following equation: Happiness = P + (5XE) + (3XH). [13] P = personal characteristics, including the outlook in life, adaptability and resilience. E = existence that relates to health, financial stability, and friendships; H = higher order needs, which cover self-esteem, expectations, ambitions and sense of humors.

From the view of psychologist there are two kinds of happiness: One kind of this is achieve the shape of life that called tangible aspect and the other one is from our inside that is called mental happiness. [14] The sense of happiness leads to anxiety, passion and dynamic and can save the people from stress and guarantee the body and mental. [15] Berbener (1998) said that happiness is a variable that has personality. He found in his cultural studding that in different countries and culture, in different social situations, the people is different in their happiness ground and these differences are stable. [16]

Indeed, personality traits are arguably the most robust predictors of happiness, if not the LOC that is central to the study of personality is social psychology a powerful instrument to study is social psychology is a powerful instrument to study happiness. [17]

Locus of control of reinforcement consists of a set of expectancies that outcomes are influenced by one's own efforts (internal) or by environmental forces beyond one's control (external). [18] Internality of LOC implies that the person believes that outcomes are due to skill, whereas externality connotes a belief that these are due to chance. [19] Values of person responsibility, promotion, participation, autonomy, challenge, mental health, self-esteem were higher in the group of internal LOC, and also they for success was negatively associated with aggression. [20]

Values of role ambiguity, working prospect, depression, and social support were higher in the group of external LOC. [21] It claims that the real core of the extraversion factor is the tendency to behave in ways that attract social attention. [22]

The researchers identified the construct of internal control in two themes: (a) Behavioral (I-B) (b) cognitive (I-C) and extraversion in three themes: Past and present circumstances (E-PP), powerful others (E-PO) and no choice. [23] Taking control, and therefore responsibility of your life can increase self-control and happiness. [24]

The LOC is, therefore, expected to affect both happiness and self-control [17] as illustrated in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Locus of control, happiness and self-control

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Like other areas of self-control, understanding the development of control of emotions necessitates examination of both external and internal factors. [25]

A self-control dilemma represents an internal conflict between different behavioral plans, one of which is of greater long-term importance than the other. [26] In recent years, the term "self-management" has replaced "self-control," because self-control implies changing behavior through sheer willpower. [27] Self-management, on the other hand, involves becoming aware of the natural processes that affect a particular behavior and consciously altering those processes, resulting in the desired behavior change. [28] Self-control and self-management skills represent a cognitive-behavioral coping skills model that has been successfully applied to assessment and treatment. [29] self-control equal happiness, because, until we have control over our desires, thoughts, words, and actions, we will never feel that we are living our life, instead our uncontrolled desires, addictions, and destructive thinking patterns will control our lives. [30]

Therefore, there are so many paths to happiness but in one-way or other happiness will always depend on an element of self-control. [31]

  Methods Top

Research method in this survey was descriptive and correlational. A sample of 200 college students ranging from 18 to 28 years of age was studied using cluster sampling method.


  • The Oxford Happiness Inventory was originally designed by Argyle in 2001 consisting of 29 self-report statements based on 5-point Likert-type scale on which 1 = least true and 5 = most true. High scores on the instrument indicated a high level of happiness. Argyle (2001) reported Cronbach's alpha of. 85 for internal consistency. Research indicated that test-retest over 6 months was 67 [3]
  • Rotter's LOC: Rotter's LOC was originally designed by Rotter in 1966, consisting of 29 pairs of statements. Participants indicated, which statement of each pair they believe to be true. The lower the score, the more likely the participant is to possess internal LOC. Test-retest reliability ranged from 0.55 to 0.83 and internal consistency ranged from 0.65 to 79 [9]
  • Self-control questionnaire is a researcher made questionnaire for which after a series of qualitative studies, several questions were designed and developed based on Likert scale. After its content validity carefully determined by field experts, a full questionnaire was applied on several high school students to reduce errors and chances of misinterpretation. Finally, its reliability was examined with the help of a small sample group. Two methods used for this process, retest and internal correlation (Cronbach's alpha). After applying the questionnaire on a group of 60 students who were similar to the main sample group, the correlation between first test and retest was within 80% and 99% with the significance level of 0.001%. In order to maintain anonymity, subjects asked to choose and a keep a nickname for future references. The internal correlation method resulted in Cronbach's coefficient alpha of 80% for 60 subjects and 21 items.

The data collected have been analyzed by using the software package Statistical Package for Social Sciences  (SPSS) IBM company with the help of correlational and regression analysis and also a one-way analysis of variance.

  Results Top

Correlations between happiness, locus of control and self-control

[Table 1] reveals that self-control is positively and significantly related to happiness (r = 0.18** P < 0.01) and also is positively and significantly related to LOC (r = 0.14* P < 0.05).
Table 1: Correlations of happiness, locus of control, self-control and age

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Locus of Control has shown weak positively and nonsignificant correlations with happiness (r = 0.01 P > 0.05). The Pearson correlation was also used to test the association between happiness, self-control and LOC with age. A nonsignificant negative zero relationship between happiness and age (r = –0.05, n = 200, P > 0.05) has been found. A nonsignificant positive relationship between self-control (r = 0.05, n = 200, P > 0.05) and LOC (r = 0.11, n = 200, P > 0.05) with age has been shown.

Effects of happiness on locus of control and self-control

[Table 2] shows multiple regression analysis by area-wise reveals that self-control have emerged as the dominant predictors of happiness (β =0.18 and R2 change 3%) by 3% of the variance. Whereas, LOC is not a predictor of happiness (β =0.01 and R2 change 0.00%) [Table 2].
Table 2: Regression analysis: Predictors of happiness

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[Table 3] reveals that self-control has accounted for 1% of variance in LOC and significant predictor of LOC (β =0.14 and R2 change 2%).
Table 3: Regression analysis: Predictors of locus of control

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A one-way analysis of variance showed, there is, NT meaningful difference in the level of happiness of students in different courses.

Using the Turkey honest significant difference test, indicated that the mean scores for the three groups was statistically not significantly different (F (59, 14) =0.80, P > 0.05.) with no significant difference between means scores (M = 48.00, standard deviation [SD] =13.50) for faculty of science (M = 40. 16, SD = 13.21) for faculty engineering and (M = 43.32, SD = 13.85) for faculty of letter.

  Conclusion Top

The findings showed that the self-control is positively and significantly related to happiness and self-control has emerged as the dominant predictors of happiness by 3% of the variance.

This is show that people with high self-control can happiness. [32] Similarly, research of Khondabi (2004) showed that there is a relation between self-controlling and making better the quantity of life and at last finding deep happiness in life. [33] So we can say that, the one who can priority the real goals make balance between brain and sense while making decisions. [34] Results reveal that a weak relationship between happiness and LOC and LOC is not a predictor of happiness.

The findings for happiness and LOC were inconsistent with the literature.

Research has suggested that individuals with internal LOC are happier [35] because of the way they choose to view their experiences as they tend to repress their failures and remember successes, while those with external LOC demonstrated less need to repress because they attributed their failures to external forces Rotter. [9] Similarly, Argyle [3] argued that individuals with internal LOC perceived their control over events and paid less attention to negative events while externals tend to attribute negative events to fate. Perhaps the reason for the inconsistency can be linked to Cummins and Nistico (2000) and Lu (1999), who suggested that experiences or age is an important factor in the relationship between happiness and LOC and personality which was contradicted by this study as age was insignificant too. [2] In this regard, the Lindiwe and Sindane [36] study results showed a weak relationship between happiness and LOC.

In discussing third purpose of research, findings showed that self-control is positively and significantly related to LOC and self-control has accounted for 1% of variance in LOC and significant predictor of LOC.

In this field, some studying investigate the self-control in work place and find that the people who has self-control having the most social skill and has a property of extra version LOC so they choose the works like selling supervision's post. [37]

Most of the studies that indicated a significant relationship were based adult populations; the majority of the population of this study fell in the transition from older adolescent to young adult and may align more with the findings of Kelly and Stack [38] and also Kumru et al. [39] Another factor that may contribute to the difference in the findings is that the population of this study consisted of 66% commuter college students in a low socio-economic area. In general, students attending this university perceive their choice to attend college as their stepping stone to attaining a more satisfying lifestyle. Further studies are needed to determine the relationship between happiness, self-control, LOC and an individual's reinforcement expectations based on age and socio-economic status.

In the investigation of differences between groups, analysis of variances show that there is, not meaning full difference in happiness of different courses. Hence, happiness could not be a good factor between faculties of science, engineering, and letters but also for surveying these differences we should use another factor. This founding with Garousifarshi and Mani, [40] finding is like each other.

Although the contribution of personality in happiness is well recognized, less attention has been devoted to self-control factor. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to gain insight about the determinants with a particular emphasis on the contribution of self-control in happiness. Despite these limitations, the present study contributes to the existing knowledge on the relation between, LOC, self-control, and happiness. Moreover, it advocates a facet level analysis, which could provide a fine-grained understanding of the relationship between personality traits and happiness and as such offers fruitful avenues for future research.

The present research suggests that happiness is determined by some personality variables which might be of paramount significance for researchers and sociocultural agencies so that the contingencies and emphasis could be stressed upon.

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  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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