Life is filled with situations that remain completely beyond our control. Yet, some people seem better able to tolerate this uncontrollability than others. To date, little research has focused on understanding how people feel about the uncontrollability of life (i.e., tolerance of uncontrollability).
This article introduces and describes tolerance of uncontrollability while distinguishing it from other related constructs, including intolerance of uncertainty, perception and level of control, learned helplessness, and global beliefs, such as religion and spirituality, optimism and pessimism, mindfulness, and distress tolerance. To measure an individual’s tolerance of uncontrollability, we developed the Tolerance of Uncontrollability Questionnaire (TOUQ) and administered it, together with other measures on possibly related constructs, to 300 individuals (data were analyzed from 226 participants).
After running exploratory factor analysis, the final version of the TOUQ consists of 19 items that load onto one factor, with excellent internal consistency (α = 0.97). Scores on the TOUQ were moderately related to intolerance of uncertainty and optimism, and weakly related to specific mindfulness factors.
The TOUQ measures a unique construct and shows evidence of reliability and validity.