The second major element of the dominant ideology, following from perceived economic opportunity, is the perception that individuals are causally responsible for their own positions in society. Observers have frequently cited individualistic beliefs as characteristic of American culture (Lewis, 1978; Sampson, 1977) and other cultures (Lopreato & Hazelrigg, 1972; Coughlin, 1980), and such beliefs have been specifically noted as part of the dominant ideology by Huber and Form (1973) and others (e.g., Abercrombie, Hill, & Turner, 1980). These beliefs locate the causes of achievement within the individual person, in ability, efforts, or other characteristics such as personality traits and educational achievement. The major alternative beliefs about the causes of achievement place them in the structure of society, in such factors as the lack or abundance of available jobs, society’s provision of adequate or inadequate schools, racial or sexual discrimination, and inherited wealth or its lack. Other types of beliefs about the causes of achievement, such as its explanation by luck, fate, or God’s will, are also possible.