Illusions of Control: Striving for Control in Our Personal and Professional Lives

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998 - Psychology - 178 pages

Illusions of control are explored in a wide variety of domains--from the micro level of the self and interpersonal relations to the macro level of large organizations and intergroup and international relations. The authors argue that people are motivated to control the world, and in particular, to control future events. This tendency is strong in Western industrialized societies, where modern science is seen as a means through which humans can gain mastery over environmental conditions. The tendency to control can have positive and negative consequences. Illusions of control are often shattered by unexpected events such as divorce, death, and by technological and environmental changes. The authors argue that the best strategy for coping is to develop long-term goals and short-term strategies. Working from a multidisciplinary perpective, they show how to avoid the pitfalls of these illusions of control. This book will be of interest to students and professionals in social psychology, and organizational behavior management.


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The Emergence of Modern Illusions of Control
Evolution Runaway Selection and Control
SelfControl Psychological Control at the Personal Level
Control and Rationality
Conspiracies and Tokens The PsychoPolitical Picture of Control
The American Dream A Basis for a Grand Illusion of Control
Controlling our Childrens Future Or Why the Next Generation Seems so Obstinate to Go Its own Way
Controlling the Economy and Other Great Illusions of the Dismal Science
Controlling Authoritarianism Can We Survive Destructive Personalities?
Controlling Conflict The Longest Illusion
The Paradox of Technology and Conflict Control
Control of the Ethereal Cultural and Values
Motivation and Control of Cultural Development
Toward Solutions PerformanceDriven Control PDC in our Personal and Professional Lives

Control and the Unofficial Organization A Story of Neglect
10 Controlling Corporate Culture
Leaders In Control
Modern Specialists Greater and Greater Control over Less and Less

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About the author (1998)

FATHALI M. MOGHADDAM is Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and is the co-author of Theories of Intergroup Relations (Praeger, 1994).

CHARLES STUDER is a management practitioner in Switzerland.

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