Self-Determination


Self-Determination Theory is an approach to human motivation and personality that highlights the importance of an individuals "inner resources" for personality development and behavioural self-regulation. The theory recognizes three needs, the need for competence, the need for relatedness, and the need for autonomy, as essential for the emergence of self-determination.[1]

Syncretic Terms

Active Need Fulfillment > Growth Mode, Self-Actualization, Self-Determination

Notes

The goal of SDT is to facilitate internal motivation, as opposed to external coercion. "Comparisons between people whose motivation is authentic (literally, self-authored or endorsed) and those who are merely externally controlled for an action typically reveal that the former, relative to the latter, have more interest, excitement, and confidence, which in turn is manifest both as enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity." .[2]

"Also, research revealed that not only tangible rewards but also threats, deadlines, directives, pressured evaluations, and imposed goals diminish intrinsic motivation because, like tangible rewards, they conduce toward an external perceived locus of causality. In contrast, choice, acknowledgment of feelings, and opportunities for self direction were found to enhance intrinsic motivation because they allow people a greater feeling of autonomy"[3]

Self-determination theory seems to be motivated by human resource concerns, specifically the need to encourage the internalization of external regulations and behavioural requirements.

SDT ignores many of the Seven Essential Needs, focussing instead on a narrow band of "three psychological needs," the need for relatedness (need for love/inclusion), competence, and autonomy (need for power/self-esteem), as precursors to the emergence of intrinsic motivation and self-determination. It does not include an analysis of safety, satisfaction of physical needs, alignment, or connection as relevant or important, presumably because only a limited authenticity is required in work organization.

Footnotes

  1. Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist, 2000.
  2. Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist, 2000. p. 69.
  3. Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being.” American Psychologist, 2000. p. 70.