Self-determination theory ("SDT")
is a macro theory of human motivation and personality, concerning people's inherent growth tendencies and their innate psychological needs. It is concerned with the motivation
behind the choices that people make without any external influence and interference. SDT focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined.Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (Eds.), (2002). Handbook of self-determination research
. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press.
In the 1970s, research on SDT evolved from studies comparing the intrinsic
motives, and the dominant role extrinsic motivation played in an individual’s behaviore.g. Lepper, M. K., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R. (1973). Undermining children's intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the "overjustification" hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 129–137. but it was not until mid-1980s that SDT was formally introduced and accepted as a sound empirical theory. Research applying SDT to different areas in social psychology
has increased considerably since the 2000s.
Key studies that led to emergence of SDT included research on intrinsic motivation.e.g. Deci, E. L. (1971). Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic... Read More