The Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology is an essential resource for researchers and students of social psychology and related disciplines.

Self-Determination Theory

Self-Determination Theory

Self-determination theory
Edward L.Deci and Richard M.Ryan


Self-determination theory (SDT) is an empirically derived theory of human motivation and personality in social contexts that differentiates motivation in terms of being autonomous and controlled. Work leading to the theory began with experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. During more than thirty years since the initial studies, we have developed five mini-theories to address different, though related, issues: the effects of social environments on intrinsic motivation; the development of autonomous extrinsic motivation and self-regulation through internalization and integration; individual differences in general motivational orientations; the functioning of fundamental universal psychological needs that are essential for growth, integrity, and wellness; and the effects of different goal contents on well-being and performance. We have subsequently ...

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