More and more Americans are coming to believe they have little control over their fate, so why worry about it, an education researcher believes. That's the craps player's outlook, says Dr. Mary Budd Rowe of the National Science Foundation. He sees the world as a game of chance. There's no relationship, in other words, between what he does and the returns he gets. He depends on the whims of other people and depends on how luck is running at the time," Rowe says. "For such people, planning ahead, evaluating consequences, being persistent in the face of difficulty make no sense because the world is fundamentally conceived as being whimsical." She contrasts this outlook with that of the bowler. "The bowler knows there's uncertainty, but he thinks that according to how he plays the game, reads out the environment, uses feedback and modifies behavior, he can up the score on his own behalf," she says. Rowe developed her fate control concept on the basis of studies of 4,800 sixth graders in 12 counties in Florida. She says that children with the same intelligence can have totally different outlooks, and these differences affect their school performance. The ones who feel they have little control of what will happen are more passive in school, are poor problem-solvers and demonstrate little learning persistence. Those with the bowler's point of view, on the other hand, are active, aggressive problem-solvers with high task persistence. She theorizes that more are leaning toward the crap shooter's view because of the increasing complexity of issues facing the public. She cited, for example, the barrage of warnings against eating this or that food because it might be harmful. "After a while," she says, "the effect of all that makes people kind of give up.That's a characteristic that's growing in this culture."