Summary: Self-Determination Theory is a theory of motivation and personality that addresses three universal, innate and psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and psychological relatedness.

Originators: Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, psychologists at the University of Rochester.

Key Terms: motivation, competence, autonomy, relatedness

Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan)

Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is an important theory of motivation that addresses issues of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. People have innate psychological needs:

This is only a partial preview of the full article. Complete access is for Lite Access and Premium members only.
You can access all article summaries for as low as 99 cents per month (Lite memberships) or unlock all content
plus ALL future updates for $9.95 a month! You can cancel anytime. is an easy way to understand challenging concepts!
Log In Unlock Access Now!