What is Self Determination Theory?





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Published on Oct 17, 2014

Join us at http://www.campstompingground.com this summer for a camp entirely built around these ideals.
An excerpt from the opening keynote at The Self-Determination Theory Conference 2013 by Richard Ryan.

Animation by Laura Kriegel

Research by psychologists Richard Ryan, PhD, and Edward Deci, PhD, on Self-Determination Theory indicates that intrinsic motivation... flourishes in contexts that satisfy human needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.
-American Psychological Association, July 21, 2004

Our 3 basic needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness

We have heard somethings about them today but I’m just going to briefly say what they are


For us relatedness is feeling cared for and connected to others

It has to do with a sense of belonging

A feeling that you matter to the other people that are there

And relatedness is enhanced not just by people treating you warming and including you

but its also enhanced by your giving to them and your being able to matter in their lives

Thats part of what helps us feel connected.

So its not a one way street in relatedness it has to do with both and again we will show evidence to that effect


Competence is really commonly studied in psycology.

Most theories of psychology would probably agree with us on this one point which is competence is essential to wellness

to feel effective in your environment, to have some sense of mastery of the things that are important to you very very important

And environments can have a big impact on that experience


And finally relatedness I mean autonomy which as probably been the most controversial

but also the most central of all our psychological needs in the sense of research and our integrated mission so to speak

Autonomy refers to behavior that is self endorsed

That you agree with and find congruent with in yourself

And so autonomy here means you feel choice full self initiating

And when you’re fully autonomous you’re whole heartedly behind the thing that you are doing

And again because of that whole heartedness thats why performance tends to be better when you’re acting out of autonomous motives


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