Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type





This study measured the correlation of altruism and locus of control in undergraduate college students. Previous research suggests that altruism and locus of control may be linked (Berkowitz 1967; Schopler & Matthews 1965). More specific research suggests that altruism and internal locus of control may be linked with a positive correlation (Gore & Rotter, 1963). The objective of this study was to retest the conclusions of that research as well as examine other possible correlations such as sex, grade level, and whether or not the student is traditional. One hundred forty five Carroll College students mostly enrolled in introductory psychology courses filled out the questionnaires, after which some participants were eliminated. Results did not find a correlation between self-reported altruism and locus of control. The unexpected results could be due to the design of the study, likely the complexity of locus of control beliefs, but less likely to male to female ratio, inexperienced/ young population, participant memory, et cetera. However, a significant correlation was found between altruism and academic standing (traditional and non-traditional students). This suggests that altruism increases with age, which were similar to other altruism and locus of control studies (Celfand & Hartmann, 1980; Staub, 1979; Underwood & Moore, 1982; Wright, 1942).

Included in

Psychology Commons