Skänker determinismen tröst?

De flesta människor upplever svåra stunder i livet. Hur man reagerar på trauman varierar dock. I den nya studien  ”The Benefits of Believing in Chance or Fate: External Locus of Control as a Protective Factor for Coping With the Death of a Spouse”, publicerad i Social Psychological and Personality Science (preliminär gratisversion här), undersöks om graden av upplevd kontroll över situationen har någon effekt:

The death of a spouse is an extremely stressful life event that consequently causes a large drop in life satisfaction. Reactivity to the loss, however, varies markedly, a phenomenon that is currently not well understood. Because lack of controllability essentially contributes to the stressful nature of this incident, the authors analyzed whether individual differences in belief in external control influence the coping process. To examine this issue, widowed individuals (N = 414) from a large-scaled panel study were followed for the 4 years before and after the loss by using a latent growth model. Results showed that belief in external control led to a considerably smaller decline in life satisfaction and higher scores in the year of the loss. Thus, although usually regarded as a risk factor, belief in external control seems to act as a protective factor for coping with the death of a spouse.

Vad menas då med extern kontroll? Jo:

Individuals with a belief in external control interpret events to be the result of surrounding forces, such as luck, chance, or fate, whereas individuals with a belief in internal control perceive events as contingent upon their behavior.

Detta knyter an till en effekt som avsaknad av tro på fri vilja (och, i mitt fall, tro på determinism) har på mig: det ger en tröst att inse att inget av det som sker — och inget av det som inte sker — i mitt eller någon annans liv ytterst har med mig eller dem att göra. Einstein verkar ha tänkt likadant.