Richard M Ryan

Richard M Ryan
Australian Catholic University North Sydney

Ph.D.

About

490
Publications
1,411,665
Reads
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260,933
Citations
Introduction
Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology & Education (IPPE) of Australian Catholic University. Ryan is a clinical psychologist and co-developer of Self-Determination Theory, an internationally recognized leading theory of human motivation. He lectures frequently around the world on the factors that promote motivation, healthy psychological and behavioral functioning, applied to areas as work & organizations, education, health, sport and exercise, video games and virtual environments.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - present
Center for Self-Determination Theory
Position
  • CEO
March 2014 - present
Australian Catholic University
Position
  • Professor
May 2003 - present
Immersyve Inc
Position
  • Co-founder, Chief Scientist
Education
September 1979 - May 1981
University of Rochester
Field of study
  • Clinical and Social Psychology

Publications

Publications (490)
Article
Full-text available
Grounded in self-determination theory's (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2017) organismic perspective, we present a process view of integrative emotion regulation. SDT describes three general types of emotion regulation: integrative emotion regulation, which focuses on emotions as carrying information that is brought to awareness; controlled emotion regulation,...
Article
Full-text available
The study of basic psychological needs has witnessed a strong revival, in part spurred by Basic Psychological Need Theory (BPNT), one of the six mini-theories within Self-Determination Theory. Empirical studies on BPNT have increased exponentially since the millennium turn, leading to refinements and extensions in theory. In this contribution we re...
Article
Full-text available
An extensive literature on ostracism shows clear costs for targets; less clear is whether sources of ostracism also face costs. Further, most ostracism experiments fail to speak to ostracism in “real life.” Two studies informed by self-determination theory (SDT) tested whether ostracizers suffer in comparable ways to targets of ostracism in real-li...
Article
Does having a negative impact on others decrease one’s well-being? In three separate pre-registered studies (n=111, n=445, & n=447), participants engaged in a button-pushing activity for 4 minutes in three conditions: earning money for themselves (∼60c), also earning money for the Red Cross (∼15c), or also reducing the money distributed to the Red...
Article
Full-text available
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a broad framework for understanding factors that facilitate or undermine intrinsic motivation, autonomous extrinsic motivation, and psychological wellness, all issues of direct relevance to educational settings. We review research from SDT showing that both intrinsic motivation and well-internalized (and thus auto...
Article
Full-text available
Financial knowledge and sound financial decision making are now broadly recognized to be important determinants of both personal and societal prosperity, but research has yet to examine how distinct qualities of motivation may be associated with the way people manage their money. In two studies we applied the framework of Self-Determination Theory...
Article
In the quest to identify the key sources of subjective well-being, self-determination theory (SDT) has proposed that three basic psychological needs—autonomy, competence, and relatedness—are fundamental to well-being across cultures. To understand their influence on well-being, we analyzed data from European Social Survey on 27 European countries (...
Article
Full-text available
Self-determination theory holds that the intrinsic and extrinsic content of people's aspirations differentially affect their wellness. An evidence base spanning nearly 30 years indicates that focusing on intrinsic goals (such as for growth, relationships, community giving, and health) promotes well-being, whereas a focus on extrinsic goals (such as...
Article
We investigated how satisfaction of the basic psychological needs at work was associated with the psychological and physical wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees both within and outside of the workplace. Participants included 1,146 Indigenous ( n = 559) and non-Indigenous Australians (60.9% female), aged 18 to 81 years ( M age = 43....
Article
Full-text available
Significance Communicating in ways that motivate engagement in social distancing remains a critical global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study tested motivational qualities of messages about social distancing (those that promoted choice and agency vs. those that were forceful and shaming) in 25,718 people in 89 countries...
Article
Full-text available
Within the solitude literature, two discrete constructs reflect different perspectives on how time spent alone is motivated. Self-determined motivation for solitude reflects wanting time alone to find enjoyment and gain meaningful benefits from it, whereas preference for solitude concerns wanting time for oneself over others’ company regardless of...
Article
The medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays an important role in representing semantic self-knowledge. Studies comparing semantic self-judgments with judgments of close others suggest that interpersonal closeness may influence the degree to which the MPFC differentiates self and other. We used optical neuroimaging to examine if support for competence...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are unconditionally confronted with social expectations and norms, up to a degree that they or some of them have a hard time recognizing what they actually want. This renders them susceptible for introjection, that is, to unwittingly mistake social expectations about doing relatively unpleasant activities for self-selected goals. Such introj...
Preprint
Full-text available
Teachers’ behaviour is a key factor that influences students’ motivation. Many theoretical models have tried to explain this influence, with one of the most thoroughly researched being self-determination theory (SDT). We used a Delphi method to create a classification of teacher behaviours consistent with SDT. This is useful because SDT-based inter...
Article
Self-determination theory (SDT) posits universality without cross-cultural uniformity of the three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) which have been associated with desirable job outcomes. Yet these promising directions in theory and research have not been extended to Indigenous samples and different occupational typ...
Article
Full-text available
Across the world, measures were taken to contain the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. Many of these measures caused a sudden rupture in people’s daily routines, thereby eliciting considerable uncertainty and potentially also hampering the satisfaction of individuals’ psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Drawing upon Maslow...
Chapter
Performing music is both a joy and a discipline. In this chapter we review the basic tenets of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as they apply to developing interest and expertise in music performance, and the growing evidence concerning how parents, educators, mentors, and professional pressures can facilitate or undermine musicians enjoyment, persi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-determination theory (SDT) posits that experiences of autonomy lead people to be more prosocial, whereas experiences of control lead to antisocial actions. In this meta-analysis, we tested the links between autonomy and prosociality, and control and antisociality, across 139 reports (167 studies) with 1,189 effect sizes (N = 75,546 participant...
Article
Full-text available
Background Unhealthy alcohol use is a key concern for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (‘Indigenous Australian’) communities. Due to systematic disadvantage and inter-generational trauma, Indigenous Australians may be less likely to have satisfied basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). When people are need-thwarted,...
Article
Full-text available
Self-determination theory (SDT) posits that experiences of autonomy lead people to be more prosocial, whereas experiences of control lead to antisocial actions. In this meta-analysis, we tested the links between autonomy and prosociality, and control and antisociality, across 139 reports (167 studies) with 1,189 effect sizes (N = 75,546 participant...
Article
Full-text available
We integrate John Rawls’ concept of primary goods with self-determination theory, to examine the links between people’s perceptions of primary goods (i.e., views of society as providing access to the necessities of a meaningful life), basic psychological needs, and well-being. In Study 1 (N = 762, countries = Australia, the United States, South Afr...
Article
Full-text available
Human well-being is an important goal in both policy contexts and in health care, while also predicting various health-related outcomes. However, the proliferation of conceptions of well-being has become a major obstacle for the progress of a comparable and cumulative science of well-being, leading to a need to reach consensus on the key dimensions...
Article
Full-text available
To limit the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2-virus, governments worldwide have introduced behavioral measures that require considerable effort from their citizens to adhere to. Grounded in Self-Determination Theory, the present research sought to examine in a study among Belgian citizens the cross-sectional (total N=45975, Mage=50.42), week-to-week (su...
Article
Full-text available
Mindfulness and motivation are both highly researched topics of great consequence for individual and social wellness. Using the lens of self-determination theory, we review evidence indicating that mindfulness is differentially related to different types of motivations, playing a facilitating role for highly autonomous forms of motivation, but not...
Article
Full-text available
Student outcomes are influenced by different types of motivation that stem from external incentives, ego-involvement, personal value, and intrinsic interest. These types of motivation as described in self-determination theory each co-occur to different degrees and should lead to different consequences. These associations with outcomes are in part d...
Article
Full-text available
An effective response to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic is dependent on the public voluntarily adhering to governmental rules and guidelines. How the guidelines are communicated can significantly affect whether people will experience a sense of self-initiation and volition, protecting compliance from eroding. From the perspective of Self-Determi...
Article
Full-text available
Promoting the use of contact tracing technology will be an important step in global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Across two studies, we assessed two messaging strategies as motivators of intended contact tracing uptake. In one sample of 1117 Australian adults and one sample of 888 American adults, we examined autonomy-supportive and control...
Research
Reference: Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., Soenens, B., Ryan, R. M., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2020). Manual of the Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration Scale (BPNSFS). Ghent University, Belgium. To capture both the satisfaction and the frustration of the psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the Basic Psychological Ne...
Article
We conducted a person-centered analysis of the Aspiration Index to identify subgroups that differ in the levels of their specific (wealth, fame and image, personal growth, relationships, community giving, and health) and global intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. In a Hungarian (N = 3,370; 77% female; age: M = 23.57), an Australian (N = 1,632; 51%...
Article
Background: First-episode psychosis typically has its onset during adolescence. Prolonged deficits in social functioning are common in FEP and yet often variance in functioning remains unexplained. Developmental psychology frameworks may be useful for understanding these deficits. Eudaimonic well-being (EWB), or positive self-development, is a deve...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a person-centered analysis of the Aspiration Index to identify subgroups that differ in the levels of their specific (wealth, fame and image, personal growth, relationships, community giving, and health) and global intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations. In a Hungarian (N=3370; 77% female; age: M = 23.57), an Australian (N=1632; 51% femal...
Chapter
According to self-determination theory, it is the quality rather than the quantity of motivation that counts when it comes to behavior change. The theory distinguishes between two general classes of motivation: autonomous and controlled. People are autonomously motivated when they feel that they have freely chosen or endorsed their actions, while p...
Chapter
Full-text available
Autonomy has been central to moral and political philosophy for millennia, and has been positioned as a critical aspect of both justice and wellbeing. Research in psychology supports this position, providing empirical evidence that autonomy is critical to motivation, personal growth and psychological wellness. Responsible AI will require an underst...
Article
This paper addresses three basic questions about moral motivation. Concerning the nature of moral motivation, it argues that it involves responsiveness to both reasons of morality and the value of persons and everything else of value. Moral motivation is thus identified as reason-responsive appropriate valuing. Regarding whether it is possible for...
Article
Full-text available
Anchored in self‐determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2017), we used a sample of 310 Japanese father‐child dyads (fathers M age = 47.95; children M age = 14.98, 50% female), to investigate: 1) the structure of aspirations in a Japanese sample, 2) the association between fathers’ own intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations and the aspirations reporte...
Article
Anchored in self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2017), we used a sample of 310 Japanese father-child dyads (fathers Mage = 47.95; children Mage = 14.98, 50% female), to investigate: 1) the structure of aspirations in a Japanese sample, 2) the association between fathers’ own intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations and the aspirations reported...
Article
This chapter presents the theoretical propositions of self‐determination theory (SDT) mini‐theories and reviews some key findings from pertinent sport and exercise work. The mini‐theories are: cognitive evaluation theory, organismic integration theory, causality orientations theory, basic psychological needs theory, goal contents theory, and relati...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of an intervention on students’ achievement and motivation. The intervention was in the form of an instructional approach named Dual-Approach Instruction since it was designed to facilitate both the cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of students’ learning. The intervention effects were as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Promoting the use of contact tracing technology will be an important step in global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Across two studies, we assess two messaging strategies as motivators of intended contact tracing uptake. In one sample of 1117 Australian adults (Mage=50.17, SDage=17.46) and one sample of 888 American adults (Mage=46.09, SDage=1...
Chapter
We review literature and experimental data to distinguish solitude from other situations where people are alone but preoccupied by external activities or presence of other people. We further explore meaningful factors shaping solitary experiences, including the reasons for which we find ourselves alone, the activities that we engage in, and the cha...
Article
Societies are responding to the covid-19 pandemic at breathtaking speed. Many of these ad hoc responses will have long-lasting consequences, and we must make sure that today’s efforts do not threaten our future wellbeing. The most consequential transformations may come from new health surveillance technologies that use machine learning and automate...
Article
Full-text available
While evidence suggests that interventions based on self-determination theory have efficacy in motivating adoption and maintenance of health-related behaviors, and in promoting adaptive psychological outcomes, the motivational techniques that comprise the content of these interventions have not been comprehensively identified or described. The aim...