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Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is a theory of motivation. It is concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. SDT has been researched and practiced by a network of researchers around the world.

The theory was initially developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, and has been elaborated and refined by scholars from many countries. Deci is currently a professor at the University of Rochester in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology in Rochester, NY; Ryan, a clinical psychologist, was recently appointed as Professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia.  Together and separately Deci and Ryan have promoted SDT through theory, research, and their ongoing training of scholars.

This website presents a brief overview of SDT and provides resources that address important issues such as human needs, values, intrinsic motivation, development, motivation across cultures, individual differences, and psychological well-being. Also addressed are the applications of Self-Determination Theory to:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Relationships
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychopathology
  • Organizations
  • Sports and Exercise
  • Goals
  • Health and Well-being
  • Environment

Did You Know? »

Mark Your 2016 Calendars for the Next SDT Conference!

Mark Your 2016 Calendars for the Next SDT Conference!

We are pleased to announce that the 6th Self-Determination Theory Conference will be taking place June 2-5, 2016 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. ...

 
Huffington Post: People Leave Bad Bosses, Not Companies: Here’s Why

Huffington Post: People Leave Bad Bosses, Not Companies: Here’s Why

January 14th 2014. Self-Determination Theory faculty Dr. Adam Grant cited in Huffington Post blog on workplace satisfaction. “People work so hard, yet so...

 
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December 5th 2013. Image: niallkennedy/Flickr Don’t get me wrong: No one who’s held an iPhone can deny the appeal of beautifully designed technology. But what...

 
NJ.com: Outdoor ‘green’ can fight the blues

NJ.com: Outdoor ‘green’ can fight the blues

January 11th 2014. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2010 showed that spending even just 20 minutes a day in fresh air boosts vitality...