Our Purpose

The Center for Self-Determination Theory (CSDT) is a non-profit organization created to advance Self-Determination Theory by disseminating the philosophy, research, and practices of SDT.

We sponsor SDT’s science and scholarship as well as help people apply the theory and research to their professional and daily lives…and to the lives of others we connect with.


SDT is the source of a revolution within the field of motivation.

It has engaged thousands of people worldwide by providing a scientific framework for understanding motivation and well-being.

International scholars, students, teachers, coaches, parents, health professionals, buisness leaders, and best-selling authors have increasingly embraced SDT’s principles. This growth and excitement has come from the application of our evidence-based approach with a core focus on supporting the basic psychological needs and creating the best possible climates for deeper and more effective motivation, engagement, and wellness.


Promoting SDT’s groundbreaking science in many ways…

Giving You the Research and Tools

Through our library of articles and metrics, developed from the use of empirical methods that have rigorously tested hypotheses, we are able to share SDT’s best science that has yielded effective motivational truths. Research topics cover a wide range of SDT principles and applications that allow you to learn more about intrinsic motivation, basic psychological needs, and human autonomy, in order to provide paths for applying these concepts to parenting, workplaces and other organizations, healthcare and psychotherapy clinics, sport and physical activity, schools and other educational venues across the lifespan, parenting, virtual worlds, friendships and romantic relationships, and many other areas


Applying the Science

We work to promote SDT’s applied work across the world. Our Science Editors curate suggested readings, videos, posts, and podcasts, bridging the gap between theory and practice, helping educators, business leaders, health-care professionals, and parents understand the role of motivational principles in human behavior.


Sharing the Knowledge

CSDT supports a variety of events, including our triennial international conference, that feature the top SDT experts and educators from around the world  providing you the opportunity to hear and interact with these leaders in the field.