, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 439-451
Date: 03 Mar 2012

The balanced measure of psychological needs (BMPN) scale: An alternative domain general measure of need satisfaction

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Abstract

Psychological need constructs have received increased attention within self-determination theory research. Unfortunately, the most widely used need-satisfaction measure, the Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS; Gagné in Motiv Emot 27:199–223, 2003), has been found to be problematic (Johnston and Finney in Contemp Educ Psychol 35:280–296, 2010). In the current study, we formally describe an alternate measure, the Balanced Measure of Psychological Needs (BMPN). We explore the factor structure of student responses to both the BPNS and the BMPN, followed by an empirical comparison of the BPNS to the BMPN as predictors of relevant outcomes. For both scales, we tested a model specifying three latent need factors (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and two latent method factors (satisfaction and dissatisfaction). By specifying and comparing a series of nested confirmatory factor analytic models, we examine the theoretical structure of the need satisfaction variables and produce evidence for convergent and discriminant validity of the posited constructs. The results of our examination suggest that the three need variables should not be combined into one general need factor and may have separate satisfaction and dissatisfaction dimensions. Our model comparisons also suggest the BMPN may be an improved instrument for SDT researchers.