Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being

Richard M. Ryan, Edward L. Deci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20132 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theory has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs - competence, autonomy, and relatedness -which when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

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