Research papers on intrinsic motivation

You can learn more about this scale and the two versions here. The SRQ scales measure individual differences in regulation or motivation of behavior. You can find these questionnaires at this link. The Subjective Vitality Scale, or VS, assesses the extent to which an individual feels alive, alert, and energetic—a vital aspect of well-being.


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There are two versions, one of which considers individual differences vitality as a trait or characteristic , while the other measures vitality as a more transitory experience vitality as a state. The items are generally the same, only the timeframe differs long-term and stable for the trait version vs. The original scale consisted of 7 items, but a shorter, 6-item version has proven to be even more sound than the original. You can learn more about the scale here. Finally, the TMQ is used to assess motivation for receiving treatment.

It measures the strength of four types of motivation on treatment attendance and compliance behaviors: intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, introjected regulation, and external regulation. You can download the scale or learn more about it here. SDT has a lot to say about goals and goal striving.

“Cultivating Intrinsic Motivation and Creativity in the Classroom” - Beth Hennessey - TEDxSausalito

The theory proposes that not only is the content of our goals i. The degree to which behavioral regulation of goal striving is autonomous or self-directed versus controlled is a significant predictor of well-being outcomes. Further research on SDT and goals has confirmed the connection between success and autonomy and supported the idea that success is also more likely when our goals are intrinsic and intended to satisfy our basic needs. SDT is doubly important for children in special education and those with disabilities. These students are often struggling with meeting their need for autonomy, as many decisions are made for them and they may not have the physical or intellectual ability to be truly autonomous.

Their disability may interfere with their need for competence, as it can hamper their efforts to master tasks and develop their knowledge. Finally, those with disabilities—physical, mental, or both—often find it difficult to connect with their peers. Although they may not be able to satisfy their needs in the most straightforward or common ways, special education students can gain a sense of self-determination in other ways. SDT has also generated some important insights about work motivation.

SDT is a foundational idea in social work: the idea that every person has a right to determine his or her own direction and make her or her own decisions in life. Although every person has a right to self-determination, marginalized, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised people may struggle with finding their own self-determination Furlong, Hence, it is vital for those in the social work profession to incorporate the principle of self-determination into their work.

The National Association of Social Workers holds this principle as a central tenet to the profession:. Guidelines related to self-determination require a constant commitment to allow clients to make their own decisions, with ample support and information from the social worker rather than direction and control. It also requires that a social worker be aware of their own values and beliefs to ensure that they are not influencing clients towards a direction they did not choose for themselves Fanning, SDT has also been fruitfully applied to research on sports participation and achievement.

Unsurprisingly, intrinsic motivation is a far more impactful driver of behavior in terms of goal attainment than extrinsic rewards, and in no context is this fact easier to see than in sports. As with self-determination in many other contexts, those with a high sense of it are more likely to stick with their goals and eventually achieve them. Likewise, self-determination theory can explain trends in nursing and healthcare.

A comparison of South African and German extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

For example, intrinsic motivation and autonomy drive patient compliance with medical instructions, but motivation to comply with standards is also significant for patients Kofi, Just as self-determination is vital for students in educational settings, it is vital for patients in healthcare settings. When patients feel they have little control over their lives and they are not supported in their decision-making by healthcare professionals, they will likely struggle to get their needs met and have worse health outcomes.

Healthcare professionals should keep these findings in mind when interacting with their patients if they have an interest in encouraging healthy behavior outside of the examination room. It may be difficult to think about how self-determination skills can be taught or encouraged in others. This might feel like a trick question, since self-determination is, by definition, not directed by others!

However, there are some things you can do to help children and young adults develop self-determination. For some practical suggestions on how to go about encouraging self-determination, check out the worksheets described below. This worksheet was developed for those with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, although it can be adapted for use with many other mental health diagnoses.

Self-determination theory

It begins with a quick overview of motivation and presents the motivational continuum we went over earlier. The individual completing the worksheet is instructed to circle where he or she is on the continuum in regards to treatment for OCD. In the next component of the worksheet, the individual is instructed to think about all the ways their OCD affects their life, in both positive and negative ways.

Some example negative consequences and perceived positive consequences are listed, and three questions on the topic are posed to the individual:. There are many resources out there that can help you become more familiar with this theory, including some great books. Some of the most popular and influential books on SDT include:. See if any resonate with your personal view on self-determination. It will take you very far. We also possess the capacity for self-destruction. The path that we chose to take—to pursue lightness or darkness—is the story that we take to our graves.

Freedom requires choices and all choices entail value decisions.

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research

It is an imperative principle of action, which statesmen will henceforth ignore at their peril. I hope you enjoyed this piece on Self-Determination Theory. Although this theory has the impressive ability to predict outcomes of behavior based on motivations for that behavior at least in part , the real value for the individual comes in the form of understanding the self better.

When we know our core values and the intrinsic goals aligned with those values, we may be happier. This method may even help people make better choices that satisfy their own needs rather than strive towards extrinsic goals.

What’s extrinsic motivation?

If you take one thing away from the piece, let it be that you—like all people—are fully capable of making choices and finding your own way. As long as you pursue goals guided by your authentic values and desires, you have a great chance of success. What do you think about self-determination theory?

Do you think intrinsic motivation is always more effective than extrinsic motivation? Which do you find drives you more? Please let us know in the comments section below. Courtney Ackerman is a graduate of the positive organizational psychology and evaluation program at Claremont Graduate University. She is currently working as a researcher for the State of California and her professional interests include survey research, well-being in the workplace, and compassion.

Moving from Vietnam to the United States has allowed Nhu Tran to develop her knowledge and skills in many different ways. About the Author Courtney Ackerman is a graduate of the positive organizational psychology and evaluation program at Claremont Graduate University. How did you go about getting permission from Ryan and Desi to use the visual showing the continuum?

Intrinsic Motivation: An Organismic Growth Process

I am working on my dissertation and need to get written permission. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you Teresita Edwards. Thank you for the article — in the Youtube link, the presenter explains through some studies — are there any references for these studies? Thank you! Honestly, there seems to be countless directions for possible research.

Do any of you have any particular ideas that you would like further investigation upon? Very good summary and start point! I would like you to add the option for sharing in Linkedin. You have in FB and Twitter and I think Linkedin users will benefit a lot from your posts and articles! Your email address will not be published. Courtney Ackerman 25 Flow. Calvo, T. Using self-determination theory to explain sport persistence and dropout in adolescent athletes.