What Is Self Determination Theory? (Source Of Motivation)

Self Determination Theory

Self-determination theory (SDT) provides a framework for developing motivation. It is primarily concerned with understanding what motivates people to act positively. It also identifies how social and cultural factors are beneficial as motivational setbacks. There are a couple of things here. SDT is a theory concerned with motivation, like what gets people going.

Human beings are in direct contact with conflicting or opposing forces resulting in very behavioral outcomes. People have an innate desire to grow. They desire to flourish to overcome challenging circumstances and let their experiences. These desires are not achieved automatically. People have to work hard to achieve these.

What is self determination theory?

Self-determination theory is a psychological and highly modern theory about motivation. Richard Ryan and Edward Deci develop it. They focus on two things. Firstly on the dominant role of intrinsic motivation. Secondly, on the conditions under which extrinsic motivation. Self-determination theory begins by making an important distinction.

Most people who think about psychology think about it as a unitary concept. Motivation is more than biological inheritance. In real-world motivation concerning all aspects of activation, people can be more motivated to perform with a value activity or external pressures.

There are 2 types of motivation:

  • Autonomous motivation.
  • Controlled motivation.

1. Autonomous motivation

It describes what you’re doing when you’re feeling. If you’re doing it with a real sense of interest, enjoyment, and value, then it’s autonomous motivation. Performance, wellness, and engagement are greater when people are more autonomously motivated than controlled. Autonomous motivation is two types.

  • Extrinsic motivation.
  • Intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation – Richard Ryan developed the other type of autonomous motivation. He got interested in the idea of extrinsic motivation and whether extrinsic motivation could be autonomous or not. Extrinsic motivation refers to being motivated by external.

It means whether it be for a reward such as money or a trophy or to stay out of trouble with authorities such as police, teachers, and parents. People will be autonomously motivated when they work by understanding the value of the activity that may be rewarded or requested. The outcomes will be very positive.

One example could be a trial that works hard at school not to learn but to get a grade or receive a sticker. In a football context, a player is motivated by the status of a specific team.

Intrinsic motivation – Someone does something because of exciting and enjoyable. Intrinsic motivation is voluntary engagement and activities for inherent enjoyment. Further, the intrinsically motivated individual is internal in their quest. It becomes a personal quest to better themselves at a given activity.

2. Controlled motivation

It refers to doing something to get some reward or avoid some punishment. It means doing something because you feel pressured and obliged to do it. When most people think about motivation, they think more about controlled motivation than autonomous motivation.

Human beings have a set of basic psychological needs. The concept of psychological needs being universal is an important one. In 2000, Dessie analyzed shed self-determination theory with the world. It attempts to develop the intrinsically motivated individual by meeting three basic psychological needs.

The theory states that there are three innate psychological needs that everybody shares. Everyone wants to feel like they’re mastering something.

  • Autonomy.
  • Competence.
  • Relatedness.

Autonomy: Autonomy is the ability to make own choices. It’s not as strong as independence because as an autonomous individual from other people. It is a human need that people must satisfy for optimal wellness and performance. There will be negative psychological consequences if they don’t satisfy the need.

Autonomy refers to the choice of control and freedom over behavior. For example, you might run a 1v1 activity with no football session. So a simple way to allow autonomy is by getting players to choose their opponents. A more complex example of autonomy may be setting up a system. It allows players to select the position they play.

Competence: The second need is competence. It is a feeling of success or the feeling that there is a possibility for success. People create different challenges for different individuals within the same context. For example, you could be working on the first touch, but how an individual succeeds differs. One may get a point for scanning, while others may earn points for taking their touch opposite the defender.

Relatedness: Finally, the third lead is relatedness. Relationships are a powerful tool for motivating others. They shouldn’t be underestimated. Relatedness is a sense of belonging or connection with the team and coaches. An example of creating relatedness is as simple as shaking hands with each other at the end of a training session.

We need to undergird all three principles to produce positive motivation in people. Studies may have shown that intrinsic factors seem to motivate better.

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Ryan, R. M.; Deci. “Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being.” American Psychologist.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M., Motivation, personality, and development within embedded social contexts: An overview of self-determination theory. In R. M. Ryan (Ed.), Oxford handbook of human motivation. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Ryan, R. M. & Deci. Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publishing.

Julia Rose

My name is Julia Rose. I'm a registered clinical therapist, researcher, and coach. I'm the author of this blog. There are also two authors: Dr. Monica Ciagne, a registered psychologist and motivational coach, and Douglas Jones, a university lecturer & science researcher.I would love to hear your opinion, question, suggestions, please let me know. We will try to help you.

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