CTSI Seminar: What Engages People? A look at Self-Determination Theory

ryanrichardThe November 12th session of the CTSI Seminar Series will feature a presentation by Richard M. Ryan, Professor of Psychology, entitled “What engages people? Self-determination theory research on motivation in learning, health care, virtual worlds, and other domains.” Self-determination theory was initially developed by Edward L. Deci and Dr. Ryan at the University of Rochester, and has been elaborated and refined by scholars from many countries.

The motivations behind behavior can vary, and not all motives have the full support of the self. Self-determination theory (SDT) distinguishes people’s motivation in terms of the degree to which it is self-regulated or autonomous, versus being regulated by rewards or pressures that are experienced as controlling. People’s quality of engagement, persistence and well-being are strongly affected by how autonomous or controlled they feel while acting. Moreover, SDT details how motivation is affected by the styles and strategies of motivators from parents and teachers, to managers, coaches, and health-care professionals. In this talk Dr. Ryan will provide an overview of SDT research on motivation and well-being, with special emphasis on  applications to education, health-care, virtual environments and physical activity.

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