Illusion of Control

What Is Illusion of Control?

The belief that we have more control over our world than we really do is called the illusion of control.

People like to be in control of their own fate and tend to believe they can control totally chance situations.

By definition, illustration of control is the false belief that one can influence certain events, especially random or chance ones (Langer & Roth, 1975). For example, gamblers in casinos who are playing craps often roll the dice harder for high numbers and softer for low numbers.

The illusion of control may influence people to take more risks. For example, one study showed that traders working in investment banks who had an illusion of control took more risks and lost more money than other traders (Fenton-O’Creevy, Nicholson, Soane, & Willman, 2003).