Belief in one's ability to exert control over the environment and to produce desired results is essential for an individual's well being. It has been repeatedly argued that the perception of control is not only desirable, but it is likely a psychological and biological necessity. In this article, we review the literature supporting this claim and present evidence for 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 work suggest 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.
Leotti, Lauren, Sheena Iyengar, and Kevin Ochsner. "Born to Choose: The Origins and Value of the Need for Control." Trends in Cognitive Science 14, no. 10 (October 2010): 457-463.
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