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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? »

New SDT Book by Ryan & Deci Released!!

New SDT Book by Ryan & Deci Released!!

Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness   This long-awaited book by Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci...

 
See Recently Released SDT Articles Here First

See Recently Released SDT Articles Here First

Advance Online SDT Articles: Kanat-Maymon, Y. & Reizer, A. (2017). Supervisors’ autonomy support as a predictor of job performance trajectories. Applied...

 
Adobe

InsideHigherEd: Model for Success

March 23, 2017 / By Colleen Flaherty New paper proposes framework for supporting the needs of pretenure faculty members, namely making sure they’re poised...

 
Lexia Learning’s White Paper on Choosing Educational Technology Helping Students’ Intrinsic Motivation

Lexia Learning’s White Paper on Choosing Educational Technology Helping Students’ Intrinsic Motivation

March 16, 2017 / By GlobeNewswire / Proliferation of New Educational Technology Products Raises Question of Which Features Support and Spur an Inherent Love of...

 
Self-Determination Theory in Practice: How to Create an Optimally Supportive Health Care Environment

Self-Determination Theory in Practice: How to Create an Optimally Supportive Health Care Environment

By SDT faculty, Jennifer La Guardia What gets you started making a health behavior change? And what keeps you going with those changes over the long haul? This book...