CSDT is here through this journey with you to provide information and resources to support your learning and well-being at this time.


Public health and risk communication during COVID-19 – enhancing psychological needs to promote sustainable behaviour change

Applying Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and concepts from psychology, philosophy and human computer interaction to better understand human behaviours and motivations during Covid and propose practical guidelines for public health communication focusing on wellbeing and sustainable behaviour change. –Paper by Porat, Nyrup, Calvo, Paudyal, & Ford


The population is no longer motivated. How can we create a motivating climate?

The survey results show that Belgian citizens’ motivation for following Covid measures is diminishing rapidly. This is not only due to the long duration of the corona crisis so far, but also due to insufficient scientifically-substantiated commitment to behavioral factors to manage the crisis. In this report, you will find an overview of the main results of the recent surveys, researchers advocate an interdisciplinary approach, and offer a series of recommendations (do’s and don’ts) of motivational communication and policy. –Report by the Psychology & Corona Working Group


Health Surveillance During Covid-19 Pandemic

New health surveillance technologies use machine learning and automated decision making to track people’s digital footprints, identify those who are potentially infected, trace their contacts, and enforce social distancing. These technologies can facilitate autonomy, but also can threaten it. In this just-released editorial in BMJ, Rafael Calvo, Sebastian Deterding & Richard Ryan look at this topic and why autonomy matters in digital tracing.


The Impact of Environmental Threat on Controlling Parenting

Timely new SDT article contributes to the fight against the detrimental consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on parenting. Study by Jean-Michel Robichaud, Mélodie Roy, Francis Ranger, & Geneviève A. Mageau reveals significant link from environmental threats to children’s controlled motivation.


Pandemic Confronts the Motivation Fallacy within Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs

New article discussing patient behavior change to exercise in a pandemic, proposing a theoretical discussion in light of SDT, aiming to make pulmonary rehabilitation a setting that supports autonomous forms of motivation. 


Is Sweden’s coronavirus strategy more psychologically sustainable?

Radio Sweden spoke to Karin Weman Josefsso, an SDT scholar at Halmstad University, to find out if one approach could be more psychologically sustainable than the other.


British Columbia approach to COVID-19

Interesting thoughts on motivation for social distancing in this article citing SDT researcher Fred Grouzet who says British Columbia is taking a correct approach to COVID-19.



SDT Covid Questionnaire

Questionnaire Packet developed & used for this ongoing SDT-based study in Belgium on citizens’ basic psychological needs, security, and adherence.


Support Resources for Remote Teams and Individuals

In times like these where many are working remotely, it’s important to keep teams and colleagues engaged and afloat. So motivationWorks, led by Scott Rigby and SDT cofounders, have rolled out free on-line tools and resources to both assess and help maintain motivation, coping and well-being. 


Communication Principles and Strategies for Providers of Covid-19 Patients

Based on SDT principles, Kenneth Resnicow and colleagues developed resources to support practitioner communication skills during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Facebook Group Page on SDT & COVID Research

Let’s connect and help each other make a difference – Join us on our Facebook Group.



Large SDT Covid Project: Creating a Motivational Climate for Belgian Citizens’ Adherence to Measures

To what extent have Belgian citizens been and continue to be motivated to stick to governmental measures to limit the spread of the virus? An ongoing study by researchers at Ghent University led by Maarten Vansteenkiste and Bart Soens examine the role of citizens’ motivation in following prevention measures over time.


Motivating Messages About Social Distancing

Do autonomy-supportive messages help people internalize the value of social distancing, and do controlling messages backfire? These are the questions SDT researchers, Nicole Legate, Thuy-vy Ngyuen, Netta Weinstein, Arlen Moller & Lisa Legault are exploring as part of a larger Covid-19 Psychological Science Accelerator project. 


Adaptation of parents of schoolchildren to pandemic

A 3-week, daily diary study (between T1 and T2) of more than 450 parents of school children collected in Germany between end of March and end of April looking at some SDT constructs such as need fulfillment and vitality. If interested in data, please see link below and contact Andreas Neubauer.


How have you been dealing with this? Study looking at strategies to deal with Covid19

International and cross-cultural study developed in collaboration with the University of Algeria (Spain) and the Meaning-Centered Counseling Institute (Canada). Survey takes 20 minutes for adults 18+. Your help will help us.


‘Meaning’ in the Coronavirus Crisis

Based on SDT principles, SDT scholar Frank Martela and team in Finland are running a daily diary study on meaning during this crisis. Looking at daily meaningfulness, basic psychological needs, fear, vitality and other constructs. 


SDT in Online Learning

Are you an online learner? If you have taken and/or taking online classes for your undergrad or grad education, please consider participating in our research study on online learner motivation.


Stories From the Front Line of the COVID-19 Crisis

A proposed study by Lesley-Ann Guntonexplores the experiences including need satisfaction and frustration of vital key workers during this crisis such as retail workers in grocery stores, carers, and delivery drivers. 


Featured / Suggested

Martela, F.Hankonen, N., Ryan, R. M., Vansteenkiste, M. (2021) . , Motivating voluntary compliance to behavioural restrictions: Self-determination theory-based checklist of principles for COVID-19 and other emergency communications European Review of Social Psychology, Advance Online

Porat, T.Nyrup, R., Calvo, R. A.Paudyal, P.Ford, E. (2020) . , Public health and risk communication during COVID-19 – enhancing psychological needs to promote sustainable behaviour change Frontiers in Public Health,

Vansteenkiste, M.Van den Bergh, O.Chauvrier, P.Desmet, A.Dewaele, A.Phalet, K. (2020) . , The population is no longer motivated. How can we create a motivating climate? Research Report, 12

Vansteenkiste, M. (2020) . , How long do we continue to follow the covid- 19 prevention measures? Research Report, 1

Behzadnia, B.FatahModares, S. (2020) . , Basic psychological need-satisfying activities during the COVID-19 outbreak Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, Advanced Online

Calvo, R. A.Deterding, S., Ryan, R. M. (2020) . , Health surveillance during covid-19 pandemic: How to safeguard autonomy and why it matters BMJ, 369 ,m1373

Shannon Hoefen Cerasoli,

Shannon is the director for the Center for Self-Determination Theory.