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Locus of control
   
From Wikipedia
Locus of control was formulated within the framework of Rotter's (1954) social learning theory of personality. Lefcourt (1976) defined perceived locus of control as follows: "Perceived control is defined as a generalised expectancy for internal as opposed to external control of reinforcements" (Lefcourt 1976, p27).
Locus of control is a concept initially used to distinguish between two types of situations – those in which outcomes are determined by skill in contrast to settings where chance is the main determinant of success and failure. For example, in games such as chess, sporting events such as tennis, and exams in fields such as mathematics, It is reasoned that positive and negative outcomes are determined primarily by ability and level of skill. This does not imply that chance has no influence whatsoever on what has transpired. After all, perhaps the tennis match was affected by a gust of wind, or the math exam score influenced by a guess at a true/false alternative. Nonetheless, outcomes in these events primarily are determined (or, are perceived as determined) by ability. Ability is located within the person; hence, the so-called locus of control is internal. On the other hand, if a “head” or a “tail” will be showing in a coin toss, or whether red or black will be the place the ball stops in roulette, is determined (or, is perceived to be determined) by chance (assuming the game is “fair”). Of course, some may think they can sway where the roulette ball stops or that they can guide the appearance of a head or a tail on a coin toss, so that ability may be conceived as influencing task outcome. Nonetheless, most individuals on most occasions believe that success and failure at these tasks are chance-determined. Chance is regarded as external to the person, resulting in the external locus of control label.

 

http://wilderdom.com/psychology/loc/LocusOfControlWhatIs.html

External Locus of Control
Individual believes that his/her behaviour is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances
Internal Locus of Control
Individual believes that his/her behaviour is guided by his/her personal decisions and efforts.

In general, it seems to be psychologically healthy to perceive that one has control over those things which one is capable of influencing.

In simplistic terms, a more internal locus of control is generally seen as desirable. Having an Internal locus of control can also be referred to as "self-agency", "personal control", "self-determination", etc. Research has found the following trends:

Males tend to be more internal than females
As people get older they tend to become more internal
People higher up in organisational structures tend to be more internal (Mamlin, Harris, & Case, 2001)

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