This instrument was developed to differentiate the original locus of control scale (Rotter, 1963) scale into

three major spheres of life: Personal Achievement, Interpersonal Relations, and the Social-Political world.

The SOC inventory contains a separate subscale to measure perceived control in each domain.

Such an inventory seemed necessary because individuals can be high in personal control but low in interpersonal and

socio-political control, for example.  Any other combination is possible, although personal is usually higher than

interpersonal, which is usually higher than soci-political control.  Research with the three subscales supports this more

differentiated view.

Version I was published in a 1983 JPSP article (Paulhus, 1983), which gives complete background information including all the validity studies. The measure was also presented in a compendia assembled by Lefcourt (1981 and 1991).

Version II was never released.

Version III was published in a 1990 PID article (Paulhus & Van Selst, 1990). This is the recommended

        version for use. Click here for the instrument.      That above article also contains a review of all the literature

        up until 1990. There is no recent review that I know of.


Paulhus, D.L., & Christie, R. (1981). Spheres of control: An interactionist approach to assessment of perceived control. In H.L Lefcourt (Ed.), Research with the locus of control construct (pp. 161-188). New York: Academic Press.

Paulhus, D.L. (1983). Sphere specific measures of perceived control.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 1253-1265.

Paulhus, D.L., & Van Selst, M. (1990). The Spheres of Control scale: Ten years of research.   Personality and Individual Differences, 11, 1029-1036.

Lefcourt, H.M. (1991). Locus of control. In J.P Robinson, P.R. Shaver, & L.S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (pp. 413-500). San Diego: Academic Press.