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Apply It! Ashton Kutcher

Locus of control is a concept described by Albert Bandura. Bandura observed that some individuals had a tendency to take responsibility for their behaviors which included their successes and failures. They also had the perspective that they could influence their future through their own actions. He described these individuals as having an internal locus of control. Bandura also noticed that other individuals tended to blame external factors for their status and situations in life. These people also tended to believe that their efforts had little impact on their future successes or failures. He identified these individuals as having an external locus of control.

Ashton Kutcher is an American actor who won an American Teen Choice Award in 2013. During his acceptance speech, Ashton shared some of his insights into life in which he conveyed a strong internal local of control.

During Ashton’s speech, he shared with the audience three lessons that he had learned in life. The first related to hard work. Ashton shared that hard work, no matter how mundane, was a stepping stone that led to the next opportunity in life. Therefore, people should see themselves as their own agents of success.

The second lesson that he shared had to do with what he called “being sexy”. He stated that society tries to influence people to believe that they need to look and be a certain way. Ashton stated that this message was wrong and that what makes a person attractive was their character. Therefore, he encouraged people to be smart, thoughtful, and generous.

Ashton’s last lesson was related to the tendency people have to perceive that the world is the way it is and cannot be changed. However, he stated that the world was built by people not smarter than us and that we should not just live in the world but that we can build our own life and impact the world.

Ashton’s speech depicts an individual with a strong internal locus of control. In his words, he conveyed a message that people have the ability to influence their own destiny and that hard work, thoughtfulness, generosity, and personal agency will result in impacting one’s own life and world.


Friedman, H. S. & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic theories and modern research (5th ed.). MA: Allyn & Bacon ISBN: 0-205-05017-4.

Myers, B. (2013, August 13). Ashton Kutcher Speech – Teen Choice Awards {Video File}. Retrieved from

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