Psychological Concepts

Two key psychological concepts related to the articulation of self-identified strengths are:  locus of control and empowerment.                                 (WRITTEN IN 2014)

Locus of control: (Excerpts from Wikipedia)internal locus (the person believes they can control their life) or external locus (meaning they believe that their decisions and life are controlled by environmental factors which they cannot influence. Individuals with a high internal locus of control believe that events in their life derive primarily from their own actions”.

  People with more of an external locus of control would be less likely to attribute personal control to events in their lives, which would mean that they would not feel that they were responsible for many of the good things that might have happened in their lives. Thus, it is likely that people with higher levels of external locus of control would not feel as responsible for good things that happened to them, and would therefore be less able to articulate strengths they might claim. In contrast, people with more internal locus of control would more likely take credit for the positive events in their lives, and therefore be more articulate in describing possible strengths. It is hypothesized that the process of articulating strengths increases the person’s internal locus of control.

Empowerment: (Excerpts from Wikipedia): “The process which enables individuals/groups to fully access personal/collective power, authority and influence, and to employ that strength when engaging with other people, institutions or society. In other words, “Empowerment is not giving people power, people already have plenty of power, in the wealth of their knowledge and motivation, to do their jobs magnificently. We define empowerment as letting this power out.[18] Empowerment encourages people to gain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to overcome obstacles in life or work environment and ultimately, help them develop within themselves or in the society.”

The process of articulating personal strengths contributes to feelings of empowerment because the person is becoming more aware of positive feelings that they attribute to their own strengths (self-identified positive qualities). As the person becomes more articulate about his/her strengths, that person feels more empowered by that knowledge.      (

                                                                                           Back to Contents