National Post: ‘Does this make me look big?’ Researchers explore what makes women ‘fat talk’November 17, 2016 by Walter

November 17, 2016 / By Sharon Kirke /

New work on motivations and consequences of negative body-image talk by SDT faculty Luc Pelletier and colleagues featured in National Post.

“Most said they sometimes engaged in fat talk, but women who were more motivated by extrinsic goals — to “be beautiful” or “be admired by many people” — were more likely to do it. “Looking thin and looking good respond to those goals, compared to others’ goals of being healthy,” Pelletier said”

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Nonprofit Quaterly: The New Employment Contract and How Nonprofits Must Honor ItNovember 1, 2016 by Walter

November 1, 2016 / By The Editors at Nonprofit Quarterly /

This article describes specific issues involved in the transition between industrial and information eras in the context of non profit management. The authors state how the basic employment contract has changed and how SDT concepts can help organizations adapt to these profound changes.

“Translated, that means that the intrinsic motivation can be harmed or advanced by the workplace dynamic and management practices, and if it is to be advanced, it is through respectful mutual effort. But this does not mean that workers are flying off in all kinds of independent directions, blindly supported by management. The primacy of intrinsic motivation is often accompanied by an integration of extrinsic motivations, which include, for example, regulatory and organizational protocols, and prerogatives and goals. Once these are integrated, they become part of autonomous, self-directed action.”

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Business Wire: From “ROI” to “PHI”: State Street’s Center for Applied Research and CFA Institute Identify a Hidden Variable of PerformanceOctober 31, 2016 by Walter

October 31, 2016 / ByAnne McNally /

New research applying SDT (titled:“Finding Phi: Motivation as the Hidden Variable of Performance”) shows that integrating passion and purpose can improve investment outcomes.

“Phi is the alignment of purpose, habit and incentives at the intersection of the goals and values of the individual, the organization, and the client. The research asked three questions based on motivation theory (self-determination theory) to diagnose phi: what motivates you to perform generally and in your current role? What is the reason that you are still working in the investment management industry? Would you describe your work as a job, a career, or a calling? The research has found that phi has a statistically significant and positive link to broad performance measures, including client satisfaction and employee engagement, that can sustain the industry and drive client satisfaction for decades to come.”

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Canning Times: Curtin Uni research finds ‘no pain no gain’ training ethos demotivatingOctober 26, 2016 by Walter

October 26, 2016 / By /

Interesting article cites SDT work by Niko Ntoumanis that challenges the motto “no pain, no gain” adopted by some fitness instructors. Findings suggest that people are more likely to continue to exercise when their instructors use a positive communication style.

“Despite the potential benefits of a need-supportive communication style, evidence suggests the fitness industry is often dominated by motivational approaches which aren’t appropriate to the environment or situation,” Prof Ntoumanis said.

“The development of instructor training programs that pull from contemporary theories of motivation could be an important step to address this gap in instructor training provision.”

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UNLV News Center: The Science Behind Employee LoyaltyOctober 26, 2016 by Walter

October 26, 2016 / By Angela Ramsey /

This article about hospitality organizations refers to satisfaction of basic psychological needs as a way to increase workplace spirituality and decrease turnover.

“Gatling sees this “innate link” through the lens of what management scholars refer to as self-determination. In the business context, Gatling says, “self-determination theory proposes that all human beings are intrinsically motivated to fulfill three core psychological needs in the workplace: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When organizations enable greater empowerment, encourage creativity, engage intellectual potential, [and] provide a social setting where leaders have a sense of purpose and belonging, these psychological needs are fulfilled exponentially.” Gatling’s findings suggest that workplace spirituality increases the commitment level of hospitality supervisors and decreases turnover.”

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South China Morning Post: Do violent video games make people aggressive? Study suggests they don’tOctober 23, 2016 by Walter

October 23, 2016 / By Richard James Havis /

Research by SDT faculty, Richard Ryan, Andrew Przybylski, and Scott Rigby featured in this article exploring video games and aggression.

“Research by Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at Rochester University in the US, shows that such violence – known as ‘rage quitting’ or ‘game rage’ – is more correlated to feelings of frustration relating to how well the player played the game, than the content of the game.”

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The Huffington Post: Why Do Students Value CollegeOctober 20, 2016 by Walter

October 20, 2016 / By David Steele-Figueredo /

This article cites SDT to explain how motivation for attending college relates to academic success or struggle.

“According to a study conducted by two members of the American Counseling Association, the reason that certain students excel in college while others flounder might relate back to their motivations for attending in the first place. Doug Guiffrida and Martin Lynch, professors at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, used the concept of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to reveal that a student’s motivation for attending college is directly related to his or her level of academic success. According to Lynch, SDT is “a theory of motivation, personality and development that proposes that intrinsic motivation, or motivation derived purely from the satisfaction inherent in the activity itself,” and is more advantageous to learning than extrinsic motivation, or “motivation to achieve an external reward or to avoid a punishment.””

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News Medical: Psychology Plays Integral Role in Diabetes ManagementOctober 4, 2016 by Walter

October 4, 2016 / Source: American Psychological Association /

In this article, SDT is recognized as “established psychological theory” to inform diabetes management across different life stages.

“People with diabetes must expend effort every day to manage their disease in order to maintain their health and well-being. Relationships with family, friends, romantic partners and health care providers provide an important context for managing diabetes. This article examines how these social resources change across the lifespan and how diabetes both affects and is affected by these key relationships at different points in life. The authors use two established psychological theories–interpersonal theory and self-determination theory–to identify aspects of family, partner, peer and provider relationships central to managing diabetes across the lifespan.”

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The Huffington Post: Wells Fargo scandal was orchestrated fraudSeptember 28, 2016 by Walter

September 28, 2016 / By Susan Fowler /

In an article about the Wells Fargo scandal and how its organizational culture might have fostered fraudulent behavior, SDT was cited as “compelling science” that explains why traditional methods of workplace don’t yield sustainable results.  

“Through their traditional—and outdated beliefs about motivation in the workplace, they fostered fraud by making numbers a priority over doing the right thing.”

Compelling science proves that traditional methods of motivation in the workplace don’t yield the short-term or sustainable results they are designed to deliver. Tragically, Wells Fargo is another example of how sub-optimally motivated people do the wrong things for the wrong reasons.”

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