What Are the Differences Between Direct and Indirect Control?

Direct and indirect control speak to controlling or instituting changes in people or a system, from systems of government to ecosystems. For example, governments often use methods of indirect control to manipulate the country’s economic state.

Direct control, used to shape or modify behavior, such as a teenager’s rebellious ways, might include such direct actions as grounding the child or taking away privileges. In a system of government, direct control on a market might include imposing purchase restrictions or rationing of a commodity, such as gasoline, forcefully reducing demand, thus manipulating the price.

Indirect control in a social or behavioral setting might recognize that meeting all of a person’s needs may leave no reason to engage in illegal or illicit behaviors. On a governmental level, indirect methods of manipulation may include imposing higher taxes on personal income, decreasing the amount of goods purchased.