Questionnaires – Institutional


Research on Self-Determination Theory has included laboratory experiments and field studies in several different settings. In order to do this research, we have developed many questionnaires to assess different constructs contained within the theory. There is a separate page for each questionnaire (or each family of questionnaires). Each questionnaire page will typically include not only the scale itself, but also a description of the scale, a key for the scale, and references for articles, which describe studies that used the scale. Each page also includes a Word file ,which you can download if you would like to use the questionnaire in your own research.

*** Please note that all questionnaires on this web site, developed for research on self-determination theory, are copyrighted. You are welcome to use the instruments for your own research projects. However, you may not use any of them for any commercial purposes without written permission to do so from Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan. (For all commercial requests, please email your inquiry to     [email protected])


Click on any questionnaire name below to access to the scale or set of questionnaires and other information.

General Causality Orientations Scale (GCOS)
This is an individual difference measure of people relatively enduring motivational orientations. It was developed for use with individuals who are at least 17 years of age. It assesses autonomous, controlled, and impersonal causality (motivational) orientations.

Perceived Autonomy-Supportive Climate Questionnaires
This is a family of questionnaires that assesses the perceptions of individuals about the degree to which a particular social context is autonomy supportive versus controlling. Included are the health care climate (HCCQ); the learning climate (LCQ); the work climate (WCQ); and the sports climate (SCQ).

Self-Regulation Questionnaires (SRQ)
This is a family of questionnaires that assesses the degree to which an individual’s motivation for a particular behavior or behavioral domain tends to be relatively autonomous versus relatively controlled. It includes academic (for children), prosocial, health care, learning (for adults), gymnastics/exercise, religion, and friendship.

Perceived Competence Scale (PCS)
This is a family of very short questionnaires that assess how competent people perceive themselves to be with respect to a particular behavior or behavioral domain. SDT emphasizes that it is important for individuals to feel both autonomous and competent with respect to a behavior or behavioral domain in order to display optimal motivation, performance and well-being. PCS is often used in conjunction with the SRQ. Because the PCS pertains to particular behaviors or behavioral domains, it can be easily adapted to study additional behaviors or behavioral domains.

Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI)
The IMI was developed to assess participants’ subjective experience related to experimental tasks. Specifically, it is used in intrinsic motivation laboratory experiments in which participants have worked on an interesting activity within some experimental condition, and the IMI assesses their levels of interest/enjoyment; perceived competence; effort; value/usefulness; felt pressure and tension; and perceived choice while they were performing the activity.

Health Care SDT Packet (HC-SDT)
The HC-SDT is a set of questionnaires related to assessing three SDT constructs as they relate four health-relevant behaviors. The behaviors are smoking cessation, diet improvement, exercising regularly, and drinking responsibly. The SDT constructs for each behavior are self-regulation (SRQ), perceived competence (PCS), and the perceived autonomy supportiveness of the health care climate (HCCQ).

Aspirations Index (AI)
The AI assesses people’s intrinsic and extrinsic life goals or aspirations. That is, it measures the degree to which people value seven broad goal contents–wealth, fame, image, personal growth, relationships, community contribution, and health. The instrument is use in research relating the content of people’s goals to constructs such as mental health and risk behaviors.

Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS)
Self-determination theory posits three universal psychological needs and suggests that these must be ongoingly satisfied for people to maintain optimal performance and well-being. The BPNS is a set of questionnaires that assess the degree to which people feel satisfaction of these three needs. There is a general form, as well as domain specific forms for work and relationships.

Self-Determination Scale (SDS)
This short scale addresses the degree to which adults tend to be self-determined in their lives. It includes two five-item subscales: one that assesses the degree to which feel a sense of choice in their lives; and one that assesses the degree to which they feel like themselves, that their emotions feel like an integral part of them.

Subjective Vitality Scale (VS)
This measures the extent to which people vital, energized, and alive. There is both a state version and a trait version. The original scale had 7 items, but a shorter version with just 4 items has recently been validated.

Motivators’ Orientation
This set of questionnaires concerns the degree to which individuals in supervisory capacities tend to be autonomy supportive versus controlling. One questionnaire, called the Problems in Schools Questionnaire, assesses the degree to which teachers tend to be autonomy supportive versus controlling; the other, called the Problems at Work Questionnaire, assesses the degree to which managers in the workplace tend to be autonomy supportive versus controlling. Whereas, the Perceived Autonomy-Supportive Climate Questionnaires measure the perceptions of, say, students and subordinates about the autonomy supportiveness of their teachers and managers, the Motivators’ Orientation questionnaires are completed by the teachers or managers themselves about their own style of motivating others (the students or subordinates).

Perceptions of Parents
These questionnaires assess children’s perceptions of the degree to which their parents are autonomy supportive versus contolling in their approach to parenting. There are two versions of this questionnaire: one for late elementary and middle school children, and the other for college-aged children.

Christian Religious Internalization Scale (CRIS)
This scale is also referred to as the Religion Self-Regulation Questionnaire (SRQ-R). It appears within the Self-Regulation Questionnaires section of this web site. You can visit the CRIS link at the beginning of this paragraph and that will take you to the actual scale. Alternatively, you can go to the Self-Regulation Questionnaires(SRQ) section, which will take you to an overview of the Self-Regulation family of questionnaires, along with scoring information. From there, you can go to the Religion Self-Regulation Questionnaire subsection.

Treatment Motivation Questionnaire (TMQ)
This scale is a variant of the Treatment Self-Regulation Question (TSRQ) which preceded the TSRQ. The TMQ was developed for research in an alcohol treatment program (Ryan, Plant, & O’Malley, 1995) and has also been used in a study of methadone treatment. The scale appears within the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire page of this web site, which is within the Self-Regulation Questionnaires (SRQ) section. You can visit the TMQ link at the beginning of this paragraph and it will put you in the TSRQ section; then you just scroll down until you come to the TMQ. Alternatively, you can go to the Self-Regulation Questionnaires (SRQ) section, which will take you to an overview of the Self-Regulation family of questionnaires. From there, you can go to the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire subsection and scroll down to reach the TMQ.

Motives for Physical Activity Measure (MPAM-R)
The MPAM-R is concerned with the people’s motives for participating in physical activities such as exercise, aerobics, etc. Five motives are assessed; fitness, appearance, competance, enjoyment, and social. The scale is a revision of an earlier measure by the same name.

Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)
The MAAS is a measure of receptive awareness of and attention to present-moment events and experience. The scale has been used in research pertaining to emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical health, and interpersonal processes.

Problems in Schools Questionnaire: Adults’ Orientation toward Control (PIS)
This questionnaire assesses whether teachers and parents are oriented toward supporting the autonomy versus controlling behavior of children. You can get to this questionnaire by clicking the link at the beginning of this paragraph. Alternatively, you can go to the Motivators’ Orientations questionnaires section, which will give you an overview of this family of questionnaires, along with scoring information. From there, you can go to the Problems in Schools Questionnaire subsection.