Self-Determination Theory

Self-Determination Theory

Discussion: Self-Determination Theory

Theories often evolve from previous theories. As you noted in Week 2, job characteristics and job enrichment theory incorporate key elements of job/work design theory. In Week 3, you discovered that organizational justice theories emerged from equity theory. This week, you discover that the same evolutionary trajectory occurs as basic principles of cognitive evaluation theory (CET) appear in the broader and more comprehensive self-determination theory (SET).

Organizational psychology professionals might be asked to address issues relating to low worker motivation and failure to achieve goals. Recognizing that most individuals perform work assignments because they have to and not because they want to, Deci and Ryan (2000) suggest workers develop an “active personal commitment” to their job (p. 60). To achieve this objective, these researchers recommend a course in which employees internalize and integrate their values into their work tasks.

For this Discussion, think about the relationship between CET and SDT. Then select a professional or academic goal that you have achieved and consider why you achieved that goal based on SDT.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief explanation of self-determination theory. Then explain how self-determination theory is an extension of cognitive evaluation theory. Finally, describe the goal you selected and explain why you achieved that goal based on self-determination theory.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. APA Format.


Vallerand, R. J., Pelletier, L. G., & Koestner, R. (2008). Reflections on self-determination theory. Canadian Psychology, 49(3), 257–262


Answer  preview

Self-determination theory (SDT) represents high heuristic power that helps organize motivational processes, determinants, and outcomes in different aspects of life.  It enhances a better understanding of human processes in diverse areas such as education, parenting, and leisure. Also, SDT aims at guiding application and intervention to improve the human condition (Vallerand, Pelletier, and Koestner, 2008). The theory focuses on internalizing behavior regulation based on psychological needs such as competency, relatedness, and autonomy. These three elements entail the basis of motivation for people. Autonomy need implies that people want to be in charge of their actions. In parenting, autonomy support results in self-determined forms


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