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The New Johari Window #3: Interpersonal Relationships and the Locus of Control

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At the other extreme, we find humanists and existentialists. They also are inclined toward an internal locus of control and focus on the isolated and courageous human beings who must acknowledge and live with the consequences of their individual actions and free will. An internal locus for these philosophers, novelists and psychologists translates into something much more profound than that offered by corporate tycoons. Humanists and existentialists honor the dignity and responsibility that accompany free will and relate this engagement of free will to the fundamental processes of thought. Rollo May (1969, pp. 204, 230), for instance, indicates that:

I have had the conviction for a number of years . . . that something more complex and significant is going on in human experience in the realm of will and decision that we have yet taken into our studies. . . . . Cognition, or knowing and conation, or willing . . . go together. We could not have one without the other. . . . If I do not will something, I could never know it; and if I do not know something, I would never have any content for my willing. In this sense, it can be said directly that man makes his own meaning.

Humanists, such as Rollo May, see human beings as constructivists, who create their own meaning and purpose in life. In parallel fashion, they identify an internal locus of control as an opportunity (and challenge) to act in an ethical manner. We are architects of our own fate and soul. We can’t assign blame to anyone else in the world—past or present. We stand convicted of our own actions and the consequences of our actions.

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