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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 in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology at the University of Rochester, in Rochester NY, USA; Ryan, a clinical psychologist, and 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? »

Oxford Handbook of Work Engagement, Motivation, & Self-Determination Theory

Oxford Handbook of Work Engagement, Motivation, & Self-Determination Theory

NEWLY RELEASED in May 2014…The Oxford Handbook of Work Motivation, Engagement, and Self-Determination Theory is edited by SDT Faculty, Marylène Gagné and...

 
Living Green Magazine: Being in Nature Makes Us Healthier & Happier

Living Green Magazine: Being in Nature Makes Us Healthier & Happier

May 2, 2014.  Studies show that those who live among nature are the most happy and healthy. That doesn’t surprise us. While the city is a great place to live,...

 
Human Motivation and Interpersonal Relationships

Human Motivation and Interpersonal Relationships

Just recently released in early 2014, Human Motivation and Interpersonal Relationships, edited by SDT Faculty Netta Weinstein,  summarizes and organizes a growing...

 
Forbes.com: 4 Steps to Reaching Your Money Goals — Faster!

Forbes.com: 4 Steps to Reaching Your Money Goals — Faster!

April 24, 2014. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to managing my finances, I can often come up with a whole list of things I’d much rather do … including...