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The "Spheres of Control" (SOC) scale and the extraversion, neuroticism and lie scales from the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) were administered to a large sample (N = 576) of male subjects in the age range 30-65 yr. The factor structure of the SOC was examined by testing the goodness-of-fit of a series of confirmatory factor models using LISREL. The results supported Paulhus' three-dimensional formulation of perceived control in the personal, interpersonal and socio-political behavioural domains, but the personal and interpersonal domains were found to be closely related. There was also evidence that the internally-worded SOC items discriminated the three domains of control more clearly than the externally-worded items; the latter showed high loadings on a general factor. The SOC scales showed only moderate reliabilities. Relations between the SOC and EPQ measures were examined by means of two canonical correlation analyses. These analyses demonstrated: (i) that SOC personal and interpersonal control scales were positively related to extraversion and negatively related to neuroticism, but control in the socio-political domain was not predicted by the Eysenck measures; and (ii) that the general-factor effects apparent in SOC responses were related to neuroticism and, to a lesser extent, to the lie scale. These results are discussed in relation to the rationale underlying the development of the SOC scale and other relevant literature. © 1988.

Original publication




Journal article


Personality and Individual Differences

Publication Date





631 - 643