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Self-Determination Theory


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Self-determination theory (SDT) is a broad theory of human personality and motivation concerned with how the individual interacts with and depends on the social environment. SDT defines intrinsic and several types of extrinsic motivation and outlines how these motivations influence sit-uational responses in different domains, as well as social and cognitive development and personality. SDT is centered on the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness and their necessary role in self-determined motivation, well-being, and growth. Finally, SDT describes the critical impact of the social and cultural context in either facilitating or thwarting people's basic psychological needs, perceived sense of self-direction, performance, and well-being.
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Self-Determination Theory
Lisa Legault
Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, USA
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a broad theory
of human personality and motivation concerned
with how the individual interacts with and
depends on the social environment. SDT denes
intrinsic and several types of extrinsic motivation
and outlines how these motivations inuence sit-
uational responses in different domains, as well as
social and cognitive development and personality.
SDT is centered on the basic psychological needs
of autonomy, competence, and relatedness and
their necessary role in self-determined motivation,
well-being, and growth. Finally, SDT describes
the critical impact of the social and cultural con-
text in either facilitating or thwarting peoples
basic psychological needs, perceived sense of
self-direction, performance, and well-being.
Self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan and Deci
2000) is a metatheory of human motivation and
personality development. It is thought of as a
metatheory in the sense that it is made up of
several mini-theorieswhich fuse together to
offer a comprehensive understanding of human
motivation and functioning. SDT is based on the
fundamental humanistic assumption that individ-
uals naturally and actively orient themselves
toward growth and self-organization. In other
words, people strive to expand and understand
themselves by integrating new experiences; by
cultivating their needs, desires, and interests; and
by connecting with others and the outside world.
However, SDT also asserts that this natural
growth tendency should not be assumed and that
people can become controlled, fragmented, and
alienated if their basic psychological needs for
autonomy,competence, and relatedness are
undermined by a decient social environment. In
other words, SDT rests on the notion that the
individual is involved continuously in a dynamic
interaction with the social world at once striving
for need satisfaction and also responding to the
conditions of the environment that either support
or thwart needs. As a consequence of this person-
environment interplay, people become either
engaged, curious, connected, and whole, or
demotivated, ineffective, and detached.
The basic components of SDT namely, its six
mini-theories combine to provide an account of
human behavior across life domains, including
work (Fernet 2013), relationships (La Guardia
and Patrick 2008), education (Reeve and Lee
2014), religion (Soenens et al. 2012), health
(Russell and Bray 2010), sports (Pelletier et al.
2001), and even stereotyping and prejudice
(Legault et al. 2007). At the heart of each mini-
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1162-1
theory is the idea of basic psychological needs; all
individuals strive for and need autonomy (the
need to feel free and self-directed), competence
(the need to feel effective), and relatedness (the
need to connect closely with others) in order to
ourish and grow. The rst mini-theory, cognitive
evaluation theory, centers on the factors that shape
intrinsic motivation by affecting perceived auton-
omy and competence. The second mini-theory is
organismic integration theory, and it concerns
extrinsic motivation and the manner in which it
may be internalized. Causality orientations theory
describes personality dispositions that is, are
individuals generally autonomous, controlled, or
impersonal? The fourth mini-theory, basic psy-
chological need theory, discusses the role of
basic psychological needs in health and well-
being and, importantly, outlines the manner in
which social environments can neglect, thwart,
or satisfy peoples basic psychological needs.
Goal content theory is concerned with how intrin-
sic and extrinsic goals inuence health and well-
ness. Finally, relationship motivation theory is
focused on the need to develop and maintain
close relationships and describes how optimal
relationships are those that help people satisfy
their basic psychological needs for autonomy,
competence, and relatedness.
Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET)
CET seeks to describe how both internal and
external events affect peoples intrinsic motiva-
tion. Intrinsic motivation refers to engagement in
activities out of enjoyment and interest rather than
for the consequence or incentive attached to the
behavior. Intrinsic motivation is noninstrumental
in nature; when intrinsically motivated, people are
not concerned with what outcome will be received
or avoided by engaging in the action. Rather, they
perform the behavior because it is inherently sat-
isfying in and of itself. In contrast, extrinsic moti-
vation is fundamentally instrumental. People are
extrinsically motivated when they are concerned
with performing an action because of the conse-
quence associated with it; behavior is contingent
upon receiving or avoiding an outcome that is
separable from the behavior in question.
According to CET, intrinsic motivation can be
enhanced or undermined, depending on the
degree to which external events (e.g., rewards,
punishers), interpersonal contexts (e.g., criticism
or praise from a relationship partner), and internal
proclivities (e.g., ones own trait-level tendency to
feel task-engaged) affect the individuals self-
perceptions of autonomy and competence. Auton-
omy is the innate need to feel self-direction and
self-endorsement in action, as opposed to feeling
controlled, coerced, or constrained, whereas com-
petence is the need to feel effective and masterful
as though ones actions are useful in achieving
desired outcomes. Competence underlies the
seeking out of optimal challenge and the
development of capacities. When external,
social/interpersonal, and internal conditions facil-
itate satisfaction of the individuals needs for
autonomy and competence, then intrinsic motiva-
tion increases. Conversely, when autonomy is
neglected or thwarted by the use of controlling
events (e.g., bribes, demands, pressuring
language) or when perceived competence is
undermined (e.g., through negative or
uninformative feedback), then intrinsic motiva-
tion declines. Early work in the spirit of CET
showed that, by undercutting perceived auton-
omy, extrinsic motivators such as money worked
to impede intrinsic motivation (e.g., Deci 1971).
Follow-up research demonstrated that other exter-
nal events perceived to be controlling, such as
deadlines (Amabile et al. 1976) and surveillance
(Plant and Ryan 1985) also diminish intrinsic
motivation. Similarly, interpersonal contexts can
inuence intrinsic motivation, depending on
whether they are perceived to be informational
or controlling. For instance, although positive
feedback is generally perceived as informational
(i.e., supporting competence), it can be perceived
as controlling (i.e., undermining of autonomy) if it
is administered in a pressuring way (Ryan 1982).
Finally, internal events that is, peoples own
perceptions, feelings, and cognitions can also
make behavior feel controlling or informational.
For example, people can come to feel obsessive or
ego-involved in an activity and the self-esteem
2 Self-Determination Theory
boost associated with it. When feelings of self-
worth or identity are attached to performance in a
way that it becomes necessary to perform the
behavior in order to feel worthy or valuable, then
the behavior will feel quite controlling (Mageau
et al. 2009; Plant and Ryan 1985).
In sum, CET asserts that the context includ-
ing external forces (e.g., deadlines), interpersonal
climates (e.g., praise, instruction), and internal
events (e.g., being ego-involved) affects intrin-
sic motivation as a function of the degree to which
they are informational vs. controlling.
Organismic Integration Theory (OIT)
Whereas CET addresses the manner in which
internal and environmental forces inuence intrin-
sic motivation, OIT addresses the process by
which individuals acquire the motivation to carry
out behaviors that are not intrinsically interesting
or enjoyable. Such activities are unlikely to be
executed unless there is some extrinsic reason
for doing them. Extrinsic motivation refers to a
broad category of motivations aimed at outcomes
that are extrinsic to the behavior itself. Unlike
other motivation theories and research, OIT pro-
poses a highly differentiated view of extrinsic
motivation, suggesting that it takes multiple
forms, including external regulation, introjection,
identication, and integration. These subtypes of
extrinsic motivation are seen as falling along a
continuum of internalization (see Fig. 1). Thus,
whereas some extrinsic motivators are completely
external and nonself-determined, others can
be highly internal and self-determined (i.e.,
To the extent the environment satises peoples
needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness,
OIT postulates that people will tend to integrate
their experiences by internalizing, reecting on,
and endorsing the values and behaviors that are
salient in their surroundings. This process of inter-
nalization is therefore spontaneous and adaptive,
allowing people to sanction and cohere with their
social environment. The more a behavior or reg-
ulation is internalized, the more it becomes inte-
grated with the self and serves as a foundation for
self-determined motivation. OIT suggests that
regulation of behavior can become increasingly
internalized to the extent that the individual feels
autonomous and competent in effecting
it. Relatedness plays an important role in internal-
ization. That is, individuals will tend to initially
internalize behaviors that are valued by close
others. For example, if a child learns that her
father, whom she admires, strongly values and
cares about brushing his teeth, then she may be
apt to internalize the same behavior. Ultimately,
however, full internalization requires the experi-
ence of autonomy in the activity (i.e., toothbrush-
ing must come to emanate from the self if it is truly
to be endorsed and sustained). To integrate the
regulation of a behavior, people must understand
its personal signicance and coordinate it with
their needs, values, and other behaviors.
The degree to which any given behavior is
internalized is critically important to successful
performance and persistence of that behavior.
For instance, autonomously motivated students
study harder, pay more attention in class, and get
better grades (Vansteenkiste et al. 2004). In the
health regulation domain, autonomous motivation
leads to superior self-regulation in weight loss and
weight loss maintenance (Teixeira et al. 2010), as
well as in smoking cessation (Williams et al.
2009). Autonomous forms of motivation also
play an important role in long-term persistence
in sports (Pelletier et al. 2001) and the self-control
of prejudiced responses (Legault et al. 2007).
Causality Orientation Theory (COT)
Whereas CET and OIT are generally focused on
how the social context inuences the individuals
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation by affecting
autonomy, competence, and relatedness, COT is
more concerned with the inner resources of the
individual. Causality orientations are thought to
develop over time and form the basis of motiva-
tion at the broad level of personality. According to
COT, a developmental and social history of
autonomy-congruent experiences is likely to
shape an autonomous causality orientation (Deci
and Ryan 1985) or a trait of autonomous
Self-Determination Theory 3
functioning (Weinstein et al. 2012), wherein the
individual generally tends to regulate behavior as
a function of personal interests and values, that is,
based on intrinsic motivation and autonomous
forms of extrinsic motivation. In contrast, those
with a controlled orientation have a dispositional
tendency to look toward controls and prompts in
the environment to regulate behavior and are pri-
marily concerned with how to behave in a way
that conforms to expectations, demands, and other
external consequences. The impersonal orienta-
tion describes those who feel a general sense of
helplessness and detachment and who lack inten-
tionality in action.
The autonomy orientation is associated posi-
tively with self-esteem and self-actualization
(Deci and Ryan 1985), as well as greater daily
well-being, satisfaction of basic psychological
needs, autonomous engagement in daily activi-
ties, and positive daily social interactions
(Weinstein et al. 2012). In contrast, having a con-
trolled orientation is associated with self-
consciousness and proneness to feeling outwardly
evaluated and pressured (Deci and Ryan 1985),
as well as greater interpersonal defensiveness
(Hodgins et al. 2006). The impersonal orientation
has been shown to be associated with self-
derogation, depression, and anxiety (Deci and
Ryan 1985), as well as self-handicapping, poor
performance (Hodgins et al. 2006), and a
fragmented identity (Soenens et al. 2005).
Basic Psychological Need Theory (BPNT)
Although the basic psychological needs of auton-
omy, competence, and relatedness play a focal
role in SDT in general, as well as in each of its
mini-theories, BPNT goes beyond these basic
assumptions to specify more precisely how basic
psychological needs are essential for health and
well-being (Ryan and Deci 2000). BPNT also
describes how contexts that support the satisfac-
tion of basic psychological needs contribute to
positive life outcomes and how contexts that
thwart these needs will exact tolling costs to func-
tioning and wellness. Moreover, BPNT argues
that the needs of autonomy, competence, and
relatedness are not just essential for health but
are also innate and universal that is, they exist
Non-self-determined Most self-determinedBehavior
Motivation Extrinsic
Controlled (i.e., non-self-
determined) motivation Autonomous (i.e., self-determined) motivation
Locus of
Causality Impersonal External Somewhat
Internal Internal Internal
External Rewards
and Punishers
Lack of Control
Internal Rewards
and Punishers
Synthesis with Self
Self-Determination Theory, Fig. 1 The internalization continuum: types of motivation according to self-
determination theory
4 Self-Determination Theory
across individuals and cultures (e.g., Chen
et al. 2015).
Autonomy (the need to experience self-
direction and personal endorsement in action),
competence (the need to feel effective in interac-
tions with the environment), and relatedness (the
need to feel meaningfully connected to others) are
organismic needs. Organisms are inherently
bound to and dependent upon their environment
for survival. That is, the well-being of any organ-
ism depends on its environment because the envi-
ronment provides it with nutrients required to
thrive and develop. Just as organisms possess the
physiological needs of thirst, hunger, and sleep
which must be met by environments that provide
water, food, and shelter if the organism is to sur-
vive; so too do organisms have psychological
needs, which are required to adapt and function
in psychologically healthy ways. Research on
basic psychological needs has found a robust con-
nection between psychological need satisfaction
and indices of eudaimonic well-being, that is, the
degree to which a person experiences meaning,
self-realization, and optimal functioning (not sim-
ply hedonic happiness, i.e., the experience of
pleasure and avoidance of pain). For instance,
psychological need satisfaction has been linked
to openness (Hodgins et al. 2006), developmental
growth and maturity (Ryan and Deci 2000),
energy, vitality, positive affect, and the relative
daily absence of psychological and physical
symptomatology (Reis et al. 2000). In contrast,
when psychological needs are unmet, individuals
experience greater apathy, irresponsibility, psy-
chopathology, arrogance, and insecurity (Ryan
and Deci 2000).
The environment therefore has a profound
impact on the extent to which the basic needs for
autonomy, competence, and relatedness are satis-
ed. For instance, when external events, interper-
sonal relationships, and social contexts/cultures
nurture and target a persons need for autonomy,
then those contextual forces are said to be auton-
omy supportive. Autonomy-supportive environ-
ments and relationships nurture the individuals
inner motivational resources and intrinsic prefer-
ences by providing choice and decision-making
exibility. They also provide meaningful and
useful information to help individuals internalize
the motivation for their behavior. Competence
satisfaction is derived from contexts and relation-
ships that provide the individual with optimal
challenge (as opposed to being overwhelming or
boring), as well as structure and feedback that
allow skills and abilities to develop. Satisfaction
of the need for relatedness occurs when relation-
ships are nurturing and reciprocal and, impor-
tantly, when they involve acceptance of the
authentic self. Research on BPNT, and SDT in
general, shows that environments that are support-
ive of autonomy, competence, and relatedness
help to facilitate the individuals perceived sense
of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, which
then promotes deeper daily engagement and over-
all psychological health (Ryan and Deci 2000).
Goal Content Theory (GCT)
GCT relates goal contents, also referred to as
aspirations or values, to well-being. GCT inte-
grates self-determination theory with values
research to suggest that basic psychological
needs also drive or underlie value systems in
specic ways (Kasser and Ryan 1996). That is,
intrinsic values/aspirations emerge from the basic
psychological needs of autonomy, competence,
and relatedness and, in turn, the pursuit and attain-
ment of intrinsic values works to satisfy these
needs. Intrinsic aspirations include close relation-
ships, personal growth, and community contribu-
tions. In contrast, extrinsic aspirations are geared
toward obtaining external validation and proof of
self-worth and instead focus on the pursuit of
goals such as nancial success, popularity/fame,
and image/appearance. Extrinsic aspirations/
values tend to emerge from need substitutes;
when basic psychological needs are neglected
over time, it is theorized that socially salient
need substitutes can provide a placating alterna-
tive, and although the pursuit and attainment of
extrinsic goals can be quite motivating, they do
not provide direct nourishment of psychological
needs (Sheldon and Kasser 2008).
According to GCT, it is important to consider
the role of intrinsic and extrinsic values in
Self-Determination Theory 5
motivation because such values shape, guide, and
organize specic behaviors and experiences.
Values function to coordinate preferences, deci-
sions, and actions that are relevant to those values/
aspirations. For instance, a person who places
high value on nancial success will likely buy
products and select acquaintances, friends, and
romantic partners that help to meet, afrm, or
express the value of wealth. A person who
strongly values having close relationships, in con-
trast, will be motivated to nurture and explore
intimate and lasting connections with others
perhaps by choosing and spending signicant
amounts of time on a selective number of mean-
ingful relationships. Because intrinsic values/
aspirations are more conducive to need fulllment
than are extrinsic values/aspirations, it may not be
surprising that they are more likely to be associ-
ated with well-being. For instance, it has been
found that individuals who pursue intrinsic goals
experience greater personal fulllment, more
productivity, less anxiety, less narcissism, less
depression, and fewer physical symptoms com-
pared to those who pursue nancial success
(Kasser and Ryan 1996).
Relationship Motivation Theory (RMT)
Although the rst ve mini-theories of SDT are
centrally concerned with the role of the social
context in supporting the individuals need satis-
faction, intrinsic motivation, and well-being, most
of their focus is on nonreciprocal, one-way rela-
tionships, that is, on the manner in which impor-
tant signicant others (e.g., parents, teachers,
coaches, managers) tend to support or undermine
the individuals psychological needs. RMT lls a
gap by describing the dynamics between partners
in close relationships. While RMT notes that the
basic psychological need for relatedness drives
the initial desire to seek out and maintain close
and meaningful relationships, satisfaction of the
need for relatedness alone is not sufcient; ulti-
mately, optimal close relationships are ones in
which each partner supports the autonomy, com-
petence, and relatedness needs of the other.
According to SDT broadly and RMT in par-
ticular all human beings possess the fundamen-
tal need to feel cared for; people aim to cultivate
relationships with those who value them and who
are sensitive to their needs and wants. People also
want to feel authentic in relationships and to know
that their relationship partner understands and
values their core self. While RMT rests on this
need for relatedness, the rst major tenet of RMT
suggests that optimal satisfaction of relatedness
requires also that autonomy and competence be
fullled in the context of the relationship. For
instance, it has been found that each of the three
basic psychological needs contributes uniquely to
important relationship outcomes, including rela-
tionship quality, security of attachment, effective
conict management, and overall personal well-
being (Deci and Ryan 2014; Patrick et al. 2007;La
Guardia and Patrick 2008). Overall, the more need
satisfaction people experience in relationships,
the more satised they will be with that relation-
ship. When individuals feel as though their part-
ner values their true self and holds them in
unconditional positive regard, then relationships
are more likely to ourish.
A second major proposition within RMT refers
to the notion that the more people are autono-
mously motivated to be in relationships, the
more they will experience the relationship to be
fullling. Thus, when people enter and persist at
relationships for personal, autonomous reasons
(e.g., because they feel that the relationship is
important and meaningful) rather than controlled
reasons (e.g., because they feel like they should be
in the relationship), they show greater relationship
satisfaction, better daily relationship functioning,
and greater overall well-being (Deci and Ryan
2014). Interestingly, the important role of auton-
omous motivation extends to relationships with
social groups; when individuals feel autono-
mously motivated to be part of a group (e.g.,
being Black, being German, being Catholic,
being part of a team or organization), they expe-
rience more positive group identity (Amiot and
Sansfaçon 2011).
Anal key component to RMT is that people
desire mutuality in close relationships. Therefore,
not only do people benet from receiving need
6 Self-Determination Theory
support from their partners, but they also benet
by giving it (Deci et al. 2006). To feel truly related
to another person, not only do people want to feel
genuinely accepted and cared for, but they also
want their partners to feel the same way, that is,
they want others to want to form close connec-
tions with them, and they want to be able to offer
their partners unconditional support and regard in
return. RMT, in sum, suggests that optimal close
relationships between partners are complex and
require more than warmth and attachment.
Summary: Putting It All Together
Self-determination theory offers a broad frame-
work for understanding human motivation and
personality by dening the psychological nutri-
ents required for optimal motivation, engagement,
and well-being. SDT underscores the idea that
peoples relationships and social contexts must
involve and support their fundamental human
needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Figure 2helps to summarize the role of contexts
and events in satisfying these basic psychological
needs and the subsequent effect on intrinsic and
autonomous forms of extrinsic motivation. When
people are exposed to and involved in
opportunities that allow for personal initiative
and self-direction, as well as optimal challenge
and positive social interactions, autonomous
motivation thrives, and they are likely to feel
interested and engaged.
Self-determination theory has been supported by
more than four decades of research. The success
of the theory can be attributed to its degree of
comprehensiveness and testability. That is, SDT
outlines very clear, detailed, dynamic, and veri-
able propositions that apply to needs and motiva-
tions across life spheres, including classrooms,
organizations, families, teams, clinics, and cul-
tures. SDT is therefore both broad and specic,
as it provides detailed accounts of how social and
cultural forces impact personality development
and global motivational orientation, as well as
behavioral responses within particular domains
and tasks. Recently, SDT has begun to receive
attention at the level of the brain as well, showing
that autonomous/intrinsic motivation and con-
trolled/extrinsic motivation map onto distinct neu-
rophysiological structures and functions (e.g.,
Legault and Inzlicht 2013; Marsden et al. 2014).
Autonomy Support
from Environment
and Relationships
Competence Support
from Environment
and Relationships
Relatedness from
Environment and
of Basic
Motivation and
Self-Determination Theory, Fig. 2 The role of need satisfaction in motivation according to self-determination theory
Self-Determination Theory 7
Arguably, the future of SDT will rest in its appli-
cability to the practice of motivating self and
others; by applying the basics of SDT, parents,
teachers, coaches, managers, romantic partners,
and peers can help individuals enhance their cre-
ativity, meaning, and enjoyment.
The Need for Autonomy
The Need for Competence, Intrinsic and Extrin-
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8 Self-Determination Theory
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Self-Determination Theory 9
... It refers to the need to feel effective. While relatedness concerns the need connect closely with others [20]. ...
... The SDT can be used as the theoretical platform for the facilitation of the motivation factor. According to the basic psychological need theory, a sub-theory of the SDT, autonomy, competence and relatedness are innate and universal psychological needs which exist across all cultures and individuals [20]. Creating an environment that satisfies these psychological needs is the key. ...
... The organismic integration theory, a sub-theory of the SDT, differentiated extrinsic motivation along a continuum. To the extent that an environment satisfied an individual's need for autonomy, competence and relatedness, the individual's extrinsic motivation will progress along a continuum towards an increasing quality of motivation [20] [24]. ...
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In this article, the authors discuss the motivation factor that facilitates transformative learning in an engineering education context. A study was conducted by the authors, where four outcomes and three factors related to transformative learning in engineering education were identified [1]. The outcomes were: improved people and relational skills, project management ability becoming second nature, changes in ways of thinking and increased resilience. The factors that facilitated them were: the need to break out of comfort zones, the need to have crucial learning experiences, which were experiential in nature, and the importance of staying motivated throughout the entire process of transformation until completion. This present article focusses on one of these factors in greater detail; namely, the role of motivation in transformative learning. The authors’ considerations presented in this article, which constitute a new research contribution, are supported by the interview data from their earlier study [1].
... When the need for competence is fulfilled, one feels capable and experiences opportunities to use one's expertise. On the contrary, when the need for competence is not met, one may experience a feeling of helplessness (Ryan & Deci, 2000, 2017. Relatedness relates to feeling connected to one's social environment. ...
... It also posits that there are three BPNs, autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When these are fulfilled, intrinsic motivation is likely to increase and extrinsic motivation is likely to be internalized (Ryan & Deci, 2002, 2017. ...
... Broadly speaking, SDT is a theory of human motivation and personality (Ryan & Deci, 2002, 2017. Ryan and Deci (2017) define it as "an empirically based, organismic theory of human behavior and personality development. ...
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This study researched how different sequences of two types of cooperative learning (CL), informal (e.g. tasks) and formal (e.g. projects), affect Japanese first-year university EFL students’ motivation and basic psychological need (BPN) satisfaction. Research questions (RQs) for this study are as follows. RQ1. How does student motivation change over an academic year in different sequential arrangements of informal and formal CL? RQ2. How do students’ basic psychological needs change over an academic year in different sequential arrangements of informal and formal CL? The results suggest that informal followed by formal CL activities appear to make students focus on important aspects of working cooperatively in groups and positively affect their motivation and feelings toward BPNs. Formal CL followed by informal CL seems to positively affect identified regulation and competence over the year. It also appears to make some students focus on their English skills more than on their interpersonal connections.
... Self-determination theory (SDT) is a general theory of human personality and motivation that is concerned with how the individual interacts with the social environment and relies on it [19]. SDT discusses the three basic, intrinsic, and psychological needs. ...
... SDT discusses the three basic, intrinsic, and psychological needs. Legault (2017) discussed that all individuals strive for and need autonomy (the need to feel free and self-directed), competence (the need to feel efficient), and relatedness (the need to communicate closely with others) in order to thrive and develop [19]. Thus, the following hypotheses were proposed: H1. ...
... SDT discusses the three basic, intrinsic, and psychological needs. Legault (2017) discussed that all individuals strive for and need autonomy (the need to feel free and self-directed), competence (the need to feel efficient), and relatedness (the need to communicate closely with others) in order to thrive and develop [19]. Thus, the following hypotheses were proposed: H1. ...
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Happiness is a debatable abstract concept as it is a term without any exact or precise way of measurement and evaluation and the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected the students with their happiness leading to a decrease in learning. The present study aimed to determine the factors that affect the students’ happiness during online learning brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 622 senior high school students who underwent online learning were given a questionnaire composed of 45 questions grouped into 10 factors under autonomy, competence, and relatedness that were based on the self-determination theory. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was utilized in this research to determine the causal relationships between latent variables construct. SEM showed that autonomy was the most significant factor to students’ happiness because students can cope with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The second variable was relatedness because continuous communication and support are evident among respondents. Lastly, competence was found to be a negative predictor because students are knowledgeable when it comes to the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first study that utilized the self-determination theory approach in the happiness context during the COVID-19 pandemic, the study can provide areas for better innovation in online learning given that there is no definite timeline for this pandemic. Moreover, the education sector may take into consideration students’ autonomy and relatedness to help increase happiness leading to satisfaction and continue online learning despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
... Legault highlighted the importance of two factors for internalizing a behavior regulation: understanding the regulation and its significance for the individual. Somehow a regulation has to echo people's values, needs, or behaviors (Legault, 2017). In our case, the regulation is associated with the constraints of editing and producing content for our experts. ...
... We invite community managers to put in place strategies to nourish this feeling and facilitate members' contributions, thus initiating a virtuous circle of participation that will, in turn, boost member KSEF and future contributions (Bock et al., 2005;Kankanhalli et al., 2005). Furthermore, this feeling of competence is a major supporting factor in internalizing extrinsic motivations that we identified as significant in contributing to knowledge sharing (Legault, 2017). ...
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Over the last three decades, the Internet has allowed people to connect, communicate, and share information on topics of interest. Websites and wiki-like sites have become the new libraries, active agoras for seeking and sharing information and knowledge. At the heart of this thriving knowledge commons are individuals who invest time and energy to create content and make it available online. Intrigued by this behavior, scholars have extensively studied what motivates web-based knowledge community (WKC) members to share their knowledge. However, the results of these studies often consider community members as a homogenous population, particularly when it comes to understanding their motivations. Furthermore, emerging literature provides evidence of an uneven repartition within these communities of the workload involved in creating valuable content. A minority of the members create the vast majority of content, another small proportion edits and comments on existing content, while most members solely read the available content. Understanding what motivates the minority of individuals who make a large contribution is crucial to the survival and growth of these communities.
... Hypothesis 2 was fully supported. According to self-determination theory, teacher engagement can create a supportive learning environment for students, and meet their three kinds of basic psychological needs, especially the need for relatedness, and further help students maintain and flourish their autonomous motivation (Ryan and Deci, 2000;Legault, 2017). Previous studies have also shown basic psychological needs to be positively associated with students' autonomous motivation in the EFL classroom (Carreira, 2012). ...
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As an important factor promoting students’ learning behavior and achievement, teacher engagement has been largely neglected in the research literature on English as a foreign language (EFL) and applied linguistics. Moreover, the few studies have focused more on conventional classrooms rather than online learning contexts and failed to reveal how teacher engagement in the online foreign language classroom affected students’ achievement. The present study assessed 546 university students in China using self-report questionnaires to examine the relationship between teacher engagement and students’ achievement in an online EFL course over an 18-week semester, taking into account the possible mediating effects of autonomous motivation and positive academic emotions. The results showed that teacher engagement exerted a direct and positive impact on students’ English achievement. Students’ autonomous motivation and enjoyment mediated the association between teacher engagement and English achievement, but the mediating effects of relief were not significant. Additionally, teacher engagement affected students’ English achievement through the chain mediation of autonomous motivation and positive academic emotions (enjoyment and relief). Relief displayed a smaller effect on students’ English achievement than enjoyment did. These findings elucidate the impact of teacher engagement on students’ English achievement in the online environment and support the utility of self-determination theory and control-value theory in explaining foreign language learning. Directions for future research and implications for education are also presented.
... Butler, L. K. (2018) explains on the social support theory can be used in existing social resources among of community, which could be used as a social safety tools while community members faced crisis like pandemics. Legault (2017) explains the Self-determination theory is a comprehensive theory of human character and drive concerned with how the individual can interacts with and depends on the social environment for self-sustaining. Self-determination theory describes intrinsic and numerous kinds of external motivation and how these motivations can impact into situational responses in different domains, especially on selfsustaining as well as social and reasoning growth. ...
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The travel and tours enterprise were badly affected due to pandemics. In the aftermath of high restrictions on human movement, travel-based entrepreneurs were highly impacted due to lockdown. Due to pandemic, highly impacted into earning-saving, lack of supportive working conditions, lower self-capacity, and lack of recovery budget and policies, the travel and tours-based entrepreneurs were highly impacted. The study reflected the impact of pandemics on travel and tours, major constraints, and a possible way forward to sustaining. The research explores what are the major existing practices of sustaining travel and tours entrepreneurs during pandemics, what factors can contribute to building bounce-back capacities of travel and tours entrepreneurs' sustainability. Above forty-four, snowball-based sampling was done from major travel and tours entrepreneurs, Pokhara-Nepal. A structure-based open-ended questionnaire, key informant interviews, and in-person-based discussion were applied in the method of study. Used the content analysis along with a recap of the research question, undertake bracketing to identify biases, operationalize variables with develop a coding, and code the data with undertaking analysis while qualitative analysis, and multiple regression facilitated on quantitative analysis to finalize the discussion. The study reflects that self-saving, social support, state and financial institutions recovery support, social behavior and change communication, full vaccination practices, and self-accountable tourist behavior are highly expectable conditions to the sustainability of travel and torus entrepreneurship in the learning area. The study concludes that self-saving capacity can contribute to bounce-back capacity for every entrepreneur. Social support and socioeconomic recovery packages were also contributing to sustaining travel and tours in the study area. Self-saving condition and capacity is higher bounce back capacity compared to non-saved entrepreneurs in the study area. Social support, socioeconomic recovery practices, and recovery packages from state and financial institutions were not at the higher level as expected.
... In order to explain this disparity, research on Self-Determination Theory has extensively investigated the effect of social context on intrinsic motivation against the backdrop of the hypothesis that some social conditions support active engagement whereas others thwart it. Legault (2017) posits that Self-Determination theory is premised on the belief that the individual is involved in a dynamic interaction with the environment continuously. This interplay between the person and the environment makes people become either engaged, curious, and connected or demotivated, ineffective and detached. ...
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Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world took several safety measures, including enforced confinement to check the spread of the disease. These measures had economic, health, and psychosocial implications. On the other hand, the pandemic accelerated remote working and the deployment of technology to support this new way of working as businesses needed to continue functioning. Empirical research on the implication of these measures on the mental health, engagement, and motivation of employees abound in other jurisdictions, whereas it is limited in Nigeria. From a self-determination perspective, this study examines the mediating roles of organizational factors (OF) and employee’s individual situation (ES) on employee motivation during the pandemic. The study employed a survey research design while descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and structural equation modelling were used to analyze the data. Remote working intensity (RW) during the pandemic had a significant positive impact on organizational factors. Employee’s Individual Situation had a significant positive impact on Employee Motivation (EM). The study concludes that as good as remote working may seem, the enforced confinement led to increased stress levels, more mental health challenges, and lower motivation. The moderation role of basic psychological needs (PN) satisfaction was confirmed. The findings showed that employees who could influence their work schedule were more motivated. Higher levels of support from employers that enabled individuals to achieve desired results amidst the uncertainties created by the pandemic were also associated with better levels of motivation. Employees in organizations that found innovative ways for social connection and had regular check-ins by managers were more engaged and motivated because employers’ support was found to be empowering, produced better psychological health, and helped employees feel self-determined. Even though the study shows the association between remote working, basic psychological needs satisfaction, and employee motivation, how motivation level changes after some point or the degree to which it would change in the post-pandemic era remains unclear and should be an area for further study since motivation is not a unitary phenomenon.
... Psychological needs must be met for an individual's wellbeing, and their frustration increases the risk of inactivity, ill-health, and defensiveness [17]. The Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) is one of the mini-theories under Self-Determination Theory (SDT) by Ryan and Deci, who argues that Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness are essential for psychological health and well-being, moreover satisfaction of these needs profound positive life outcomes [18]. Thus, this study aims to delve into the potential predictors of the Psychological Well-being (PWB) of public-school teachers and instructional leaders during the Pandemic COVID-19. ...
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This study aimed to delve into the potential predictors of Psychological Well-being (PWB) of Public-school Educators and Instructional Leaders amid the global pandemic COVID-19. Quantitative-Descriptive and Predictive methods were utilized in this research. Five hundred fifty-one (551) public-school teachers and instructional leaders were the respondents of this study. Three regression models were built to delve into the potential predictors of PWB: Gender, Designation, Age, and Length of Service were the predictors for Model 1, Grit was added in Model 2, then Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction (Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness) adjoined in Model 3. The results revealed that: (1) Grit level is Very Gritty; (2) Psychological Needs Satisfaction in terms of Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness are Often Satisfied; (3) Psychological Well-being is High; (4) Age predicts Psychological Well-being; (5) similarly, Age and Grit predict Psychological Well-being in Model 2; (6) and in the final model, Age, Designation, Grit, Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness Satisfactions at work predict the Psychological Well-being of the public-school instructional leaders and classroom teachers.
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This research aimed to delve into the personality trait of public-school teachers concerning Grit, the Basic Psychological Needs satisfaction in terms of Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness, likewise to examine their predictive roles in Psychological Well-being. Public-school teachers were the respondents of this study: 214 (74.56%) in elementary and 73 (25.44%) in secondary. The results revealed that: a) teachers have very gritty personality traits; b) Autonomy for elementary is somewhat satisfied, while for the secondary is often satisfied; c) both have often satisfaction for Competence; d) similarly, Relatedness Satisfaction is often; d) no significant difference manifested in the two groups in the comparison of Grit, Autonomy, Competence, and Psychological Well-being but significant difference revealed in Relatedness Satisfaction; f) the overall regression model is statistically significant to predict the Psychological Well-being, however among the four specific predictors, Grit and Relatedness were not statistically significant in predicting the Well-being of the public school teachers.
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One organizational trend inherited from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased number of remote workers around the world. Extending and validating previous knowledge on traditional workplace employees to the growing population of remote workers is a requirement for research communities, and employee engagement is one of them. Using EENDEED, a validated instrument for measuring remote employee engagement, this study analyzed the influence of 1) belongingness or sense of belonging at work and 2) Leader-Member Exchange (LMX), on remote employee engagement. After uncovering the 2-factor structure of belongingness (positive and negative be-longingness) and validating the 2-factor structure of EENDEED which includes PERFORMANCE and SELF-RELIANCE, a multiple regression analysis was conducted on a dataset of 267 participants, all remote workers within the United States of America. The results of the statistical analysis confirmed the existence of a significant positive relationship between LMX and EENDEED, as well as positive belongingness and EENDEED. Findings showed that there was no significant relationship between negative sense of belonging and remote employee engagement. The study also confirmed LMX to be a better influencer of engagement as compared to belongingness. This research contributed to knowledge by extending the relationship between LMX, belonging-ness, and engagement to the population of remote employees. In other words, the perceived notion of the relationship between the managers and their remote employees from the employees' perspective is of great importance in keeping the employees engaged.
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The present study investigated whether satisfaction and frustration of the psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence, as identified within Basic Psychological Need Theory (BPNT; Deci and Ryan, Psychol Inquiry 11:227-268, 2000; Ryan and Deci, Psychol Inquiry 11:319-338, 2000), contributes to participants' well-being and ill-being, regardless of their cultural background and interpersonal differences in need strength, as indexed by either need valuation (i.e., the stated importance of the need to the person) or need desire (i.e., the desire to get a need met). In Study 1, involving late adolescents from Belgium and China (total N = 685; Mean age = 17 years), autonomy and competence satisfaction had unique associations with well-being and individual differences in need valuation did not moderate these associations. Study 2 involved participants from four culturally diverse nations (Belgium, China, USA, and Peru; total N = 1,051; Mean age = 20 years). Results provided evidence for the measurement equivalence of an adapted scale tapping into both need satisfaction and need frustration. Satisfaction of each of the three needs was found to contribute uniquely to the prediction of well-being, whereas frustration of each of the three needs contributed uniquely to the prediction of ill-being. Consistent with Study 1, the effects of need satisfaction and need frustration were found to be equivalent across the four countries and were not moderated by individual differences in the desire for need satisfaction. These findings underscore BPNT's universality claim, which states that the satisfaction of basic needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence represent essential nutrients for optimal functioning across cultures and across individual differences in need strength.
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Changes in motivation anticipate changes in engagement, but the present study tested the reciprocal relation that changes in students’ classroom engagement lead to corresponding longitudinal changes in their classroom motivation. Achievement scores and multiple measures of students’ course-specific motivation (psychological need satisfaction, self-efficacy, and mastery goals) and engagement (behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and agentic aspects) were collected from 313 (213 females, 100 males) Korean high school students using a 3-wave longitudinal research design. Two key findings emerged from a multilevel structural equation modeling analysis: (a) Students’ initial classroom engagement predicted corresponding longitudinal changes in all 3 midsemester motivations, and (b) early semester changes in engagement predicted corresponding longitudinal changes in end-of-semester psychological need satisfaction and self-efficacy, but not mastery goals. Changes in engagement also predicted course achievement. These findings reveal the underappreciated benefits that high-quality classroom engagement contributes to the understanding, prediction, and potential facilitation of constructive changes in students’ in-course motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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It is incumbent on organizations to find ways to support their employees and help them achieve their full potential; they must provide employees with conditions that promote psychological health. Based on a series of studies conducted by Dr. Claude Fernet, recipient of the 2012 CPA President’s New Researcher Award, this article sheds light on the role of work motivation in employees’ psychological health in an attempt to provide a better understanding of the forces at play. More specifically, these studies describe how the multiple dimensions and functions of work motivation can explain employees’ adaptation to the work environment and their psychological health. Directions for future research are then proposed.
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Using self-determination theory as a guiding framework, this study examined whether perceptions of God as autonomy supportive and controlling were related to individuals' belief in a transcendent reality and to their social-cognitive style of approaching religious contents (i.e., literal and rigid vs. symbolic and flexible). Further, we examined whether individuals' motives for religious behavior (i.e., autonomous vs. controlled) would mediate these associations. In a sample of 267 religiously active participants, we found that the two types of perceptions of God were positively related to belief in transcendence but were differentially related to a symbolic approach. Specifically, a perception of God as autonomy supportive related positively and a perception of God as controlling related negatively to a symbolic approach. Some evidence was obtained for a mediating role of motives for religious behavior in these associations. Discussion focuses on how self-determination theory can contribute to research on the psychology of religion.
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The importance of autonomous motivation in improving self-regulation has been a focal topic of motivation research for almost 3 decades. Despite this extensive research, however, there has not yet been a mechanistic account of how autonomous motivation works to boost self-regulatory functioning. To address this issue, we examined the role of autonomy in 2 basic self-regulation tasks while recording a neural signal of self-regulation failure (i.e., the error-related negativity; ERN). Based on the notion that autonomy improves self-regulation, we anticipated that autonomous motivation would enhance neuroaffective responsiveness to self-regulatory failure and thus improve performance relative to controlled motivation. In Study 1 (N = 43), we found that trait autonomy was positively associated with self-regulatory performance and that this effect was mediated by increased brain-based sensitivity to self-regulation failure, as demonstrated by a larger ERN. Study 2 (N = 55) replicated and extended this pattern using an experimental manipulation of autonomy; when autonomous motivation was contextually supported, task performance increased relative to those for whom autonomy was undermined and those in a neutral condition. In addition, this effect was mediated by both increased perceptions of autonomy and larger ERN amplitudes. These findings offer deeper insight into the links among motivational orientation, brain-based performance monitoring, and self-regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Establishing and maintaining close relationships are among the most important and autonomously pursued aspects of people’s lives. This chapter reviews the motivational dynamics of close relationships using Relationships Motivation Theory (RMT), a mini-theory within Self-Determination Theory. RMT posits a basic psychological need for relatedness that mobilizes people to pursue relationships, yet not all relationships are of high quality and satisfy the relatedness need. Even among warm relationships only those in which both partners experience autonomy and provide autonomy support to the other are deeply satisfying of the need for relatedness and are experienced as being of high quality. In contrast, control, objectification, and contingent regard thwart not only the autonomy need but also the relatedness need resulting in poor quality relationships. Need supports predict better dyadic functioning, more trust and volitional reliance, and greater wellness, and mutuality of need supports yields the most positive relationship outcomes.
The duration and quality of human performance depend on both intrinsic motivation and external incentives. However, little is known about the neuroscientific basis of this interplay between internal and external motivators. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the neural substrates of intrinsic motivation, operationalized as the free-choice time spent on a task when this was not required, and tested the neural and behavioral effects of external reward on intrinsic motivation. We found that increased duration of free-choice time was predicted by generally diminished neural responses in regions associated with cognitive and affective regulation. By comparison, the possibility of additional reward improved task accuracy, and specifically increased neural and behavioral responses following errors. Those individuals with the smallest neural responses associated with intrinsic motivation exhibited the greatest error-related neural enhancement under the external contingency of possible reward. Together, these data suggest that human performance is guided by a “tonic” and “phasic” relationship between the neural substrates of intrinsic motivation (tonic) and the impact of external incentives (phasic). Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.3758/s13415-014-0324-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A growing interest in the functional importance of dispositional autonomy led to the development and validation of the Index of Autonomous Functioning (IAF) across seven studies. The IAF provides a measure of trait autonomy based on three theoretically derived subscales assessing authorship/self-congruence, interest-taking, and low susceptibility to control. Results showed consistency within and across subscales, and appropriate placement within a nomological network of constructs. Diary studies demonstrated IAF relations with higher well-being, greater daily satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and more autonomous engagement in daily activities. Using an experimental approach, the IAF was shown to predict more positive interactions among dyads. The studies provided a systematic development and validation of a measure of autonomy that is brief and reliable.
Empirical research and organismic theories suggest that lower well-being is associated with having extrinsic goals focused on rewards or praise relatively central to one's personality in comparison to intrinsic goals congruent with inherent growth tendencies. In a sample of adult subjects (Study 1), the relative importance and efficacy of extrinsic aspirations for financial success, an appealing appearance, and social recognition were associated with lower vitality and self-actualization and more physical symptoms. Conversely, the relative importance and efficacy of intrinsic aspirations for self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, and physical health were associated with higher well-being and less distress. Study 2 replicated these findings in a college sample and extended them to measures of narcissism and daily affect. Three reasons are discussed as to why extrinsic aspirations relate negatively to well-being, and future research directions are suggested.