Theory Overview

Self-determination theory (SDT) examines the universal human drive to grow and fulfill essential psychological needs. According to SDT, the fulfillment of these innate needs allows people to function efficiently and thrive. Furthermore, this theory discusses the interplay between these needs and external influences to differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation. SDT includes a broad theory, used as a framework to study motivation and personality, and six mini-theories, which examine intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

The theory has been applied to a variety of fields, including adolescent development, therapy, neuropsychology, health, education, goal setting, and organizational research. Within the industrial and organizational realm, research has examined many variables through the scope of SDT, including supervisor and organizational support, employee turnover, engagement, well-being, self-control, job ...

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