Beyond the intrinsic-extrinsic dichotomy: Self-determination in motivation and learning

C. Scott Rigby, Edward L. Deci, Brian C. Patrick, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Researchers have typically portrayed intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as dichotomous. Although this dichotomy has explanatory utility, we present a differentiated view of extrinsic motivation, arguing that the relative autonomy of one's motivated actions is more useful for characterizing the motivational basis of learning than is the undifferentiated intrinsic-extrinsic dichotomy. Our concept of autonomous extrinsic motivation is based on a developmental analysis of the processes of internalization and integration. In this article we review extensive research indicating that intrinsic motivation and integrated internalization are facilitated by autonomy supportive social contexts, and that these autonomous forms of motivation, in turn, promote high-quality learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-185
Number of pages21
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992


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