Article

Motivation, Personality, and Development Within Embedded Social Contexts: An Overview of Self-Determination Theory

Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399820
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195399820.013.0006

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Motivation, Personality, and Development Within Embedded Social Contexts: An Overview of Self-Determination Theory

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Self-determination theory maintains and has provided empirical support for the proposition that all human beings have fundamental psychological needs to be competent, autonomous, and related to others. Satisfaction of these basic needs facilitates people's autonomous motivation (i.e., acting with a sense of full endorsement and volition), whereas thwarting the needs promotes controlled motivation (i.e., feeling pressured to behave in particular ways) or being amotivated (i.e., lacking intentionality). Satisfying these basic needs and acting autonomously have been consistently shown to be associated with psychological health and effective performance. Social contexts within which people operate, however proximal (e.g., a family or workgroup) or distal (e.g., a cultural value or economic system), affect their need satisfaction and type of motivation, thus affecting their wellness and effectiveness. Social contexts also affect whether people's life goals or aspirations tend to be more intrinsic or more extrinsic, and that in turn affects important life outcomes.

Keywords: self-determination; autonomy; motivation; control; autonomy support; social contexts; intrinsic motivation; life goals; autonomous motivation; embedded social contexts

Article.  16999 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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