chapter  11
The Assessment of Locus of Control
Pages 14

The history of psychology is replete with examples of constructs that have been granted prominence for a brief period of time only to be subsequently discarded and forgotten. However, given the limits of human innovations in describing recurrent phenomena, reinstatements of discarded constructs also occur, albeit with differences in language and assumptions. One contributing factor to the common decline of interest in many an adequate construct derives from the mistaken tendency to identify a construct with some singular measurement device: Anxiety, a construct that is central to several theoretical positions, becomes defined by Taylor's manifest anxiety scale; repression becomes synonymous with Byrne's repression-sensitization scale; authoritarianism with the California F scale, and so on. In each of these instances a measure became, for many investigators, the definition of the construct, and subjects' scores on those instruments came to be taken as indications of the presence or absence of given traits; that is, individuals scoring high on an anxiety scale are said to be highly anxious or 10 have high anxiety.