chapter
Coping with Lack of Control in a Social World: An introduction
ByMarcin Bukowski, Immo Fritsche, Ana Guinote
Pages 12

The need for personal control is one of the most critical dimensions of people’s lives. Losing a job, having health problems, experiencing the death of a loved one are just some of the most vivid situations that make us realize the deleterious consequences of losing control over our lives. Whereas some of these instances involve people’s independent ability to achieve what they want, such as performing well on a task or protecting their health, many instances of having or losing control are inherently linked to the social context. As a highly interdependent social species, humans’ personal control, be it of a large or small scope, variety and intensity, might be jeopardized in nearly all social contexts: at school, in the family, at work, or in political life.