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Trends Cogn Sci. 2010 Oct;14(10):457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.08.001.

Born to choose: the origins and value of the need for control.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Rutgers University-Newark, Smith Hall, Room 301, 101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102, USA. laurenleotti@psychology.rutgers.edu

Abstract

Belief in one's ability to exert control over the environment and to produce desired results is essential for an individual's wellbeing. It has repeatedly been argued that perception of control is not only desirable, but is also probably a psychological and biological necessity. In this article, we review the literature supporting this claim and present evidence of a biological basis for the need for control and for choice-that is, the means by which we exercise control over the environment. Converging evidence from animal research, clinical studies and neuroimaging suggests that the need for control is a biological imperative for survival, and a corticostriatal network is implicated as the neural substrate of this adaptive behavior.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20817592
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2944661
Free PMC Article

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