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Illusions of Control: How We Overestimate Our Personal Influence

Suzanne C. Thompson
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 8, No. 6 (Dec., 1999), pp. 187-190
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20182602
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Illusions of Control: How We Overestimate Our Personal Influence
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Abstract

Illusions of control are common even in purely chance situations. They are particularly likely to occur in settings that are characterized by personal involvement, familiarity, foreknowledge of the desired outcome, and a focus on success. Person-based factors that affect illusions of control include depressive mood and need for control. One explanation of illusory control is that it is due to a control heuristic that is used to estimate control by assessing the factors of intentionality and connection to the outcome. Motivational influences on illusory control and consequences of overestimating one's control are also covered.

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