Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Psychological needs: Psychological needs are fundamental human requirements essential for well-being and optimal functioning. In psychology, these often include autonomy (self-determination), competence (mastery and effectiveness), and relatedness (connection with others). See also Autonomy, Self-determination, Social relations, Social identity, Socialization, Communication.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Richard M. Ryan on Psychological Needs - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 441
Psychological needs/Psychological Universals/Deci/Ryan: Deci and Ryan (1985(1), 2000)(2): have postulated that human beings have three basic and universal psychological needs: the needs for

autonomy and


1. Deci, E. L. and Ryan, R. M. 1985. Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum
2. 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

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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Corr II 138
Competence/sychological needs/Deci/Ryan: Competence refers to the feeling that one is effective in one’s social interactions and has opportunities to exercise and develop one’s capacities. Autonomy refers to the perception that one is the source or origin of one’s own behaviour or that one is acting in accord with one’s personal values and beliefs (Deci & Ryan, 1985)(1). The third need, relatedness, is defined as the feeling of being connected to other individuals and one’s community; it is the sense of caring for others and having them care for you in return (Ryan, 1995)(2). These three needs are basic in the sense that they are universal and essential to optimal functioning, growth, integration, social development and well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2001)(3). When these needs are not met, the organism suffers.

1. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press.
2. Ryan, R. M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of integrative processes. Journal of Personality, 63, 397–427.
3. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.

Ryan, Richard M; Ryan, William S and Di Domenico, Stefano I.: “Effects of Rewards on Self-Determination and Intrinsic Motivation Revisiting Deci (1971)”, In: Philip J. Corr (Ed.) 2018. Personality and Individual Differences. Revisiting the classical studies. Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne: Sage, pp. 137-154. Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

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 [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Ryan, Richard M.
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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