Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Debra Steele-Johnson (Committee Chair), Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Corey Miller (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Researchers have suggested that self-efficacy and feedback-seeking behavior (FSB) are effective in enhancing performance. To improve performance in the workplace, research should focus on how psychologists can enhance these constructs in employees. Though locus of control (LOC) relates to self-efficacy and increased FSB, research has revealed issues in LOC (e.g., failure to predict performance, range restriction, failure to predict behaviors). The current study examined the effects of perceived “lack of control”, learned helplessness, over LOC on both self-efficacy and FSB in two different samples: a student sample (N = 321) and a work sample (N = 794). Learned helplessness accounted for unique variance over LOC in self-efficacy and FSB and accounted for all variance LOC accounted for in self-efficacy. LOC did not moderate relationships between learned helplessness and self-efficacy but did moderate relationships between learned helplessness and FSB. Predicted moderation effects were more complicated than expected as I observed moderation effects that differed from the pattern of effects I predicted in both Study 1 and Study 2. Although my hypotheses were not all supported, my results highlighted several issues and future directions relevant to motivational research, including large conceptual overlap between learned helplessness and LOC and how different levels of LOC affected relationships between learned helplessness and FSB differently at low versus high levels of learned helplessness.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded