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Self-Determination Theory on Motivation - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 442
Motivation/Deci/Ryan: Def Intrinsic motivation/Deci/Ryan: refers to doing an activity because the activity itself is interesting and spontaneously satisfying (Ryan and Deci 2000)(1). Intrinsic motivation is said to be invariantly autonomous or self-determined because it is a reflection of people’s inner interests. In other words, when intrinsically motivated, people experience volition and a sense of choice as they fully endorse the activities in which they are engaged.
Terminology: Csikszentmihalyi (1990)(2) referred to intrinsically motivated activities as autotelic.
Def Extrinsic motivation/Deci/Ryan: In contrast, extrinsic motivation refers to doing an activity because it is instrumental to some operationally separable consequence. The classic instance of extrinsic motivation is doing an activity because it is expected to lead to a reward or the avoidance of a punishment.
Self-Determination Theory/SDT: suggests, that extrinsic motivation can be internalized and thus can become a basis for autonomous actions. >Self-Determination/Deci/Ryan, >Internalization/Deci/Ryan.
Four types of extrinsic motivation:
external regulation
introjected regulation
identified regulation
integrated regulation
>Regulation/Deci/Ryan, >Environment/Deci/Ryan.


1. Deci, E. L. and Ryan, R. M. 2000. The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of goal pursuits: human needs and the self-determination of behaviour, Psychological Inquiry 11: 227–68
2. Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1990. Flow. New York: Harper and Row


Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, „Self-determination theory: a consideration of human motivational universals“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Self-Determination Theory
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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