Human Autonomy in Cross-Cultural Context

Perspectives on the Psychology of Agency, Freedom, and Well-Being

  • Valery I. Chirkov
  • Richard M. Ryan
  • Kennon M. Sheldon

Part of the Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology book series (CAPP, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Valery I. Chirkov, Kennon M. Sheldon, Richard M. Ryan
    Pages 1-30
  3. A Theoretical Context of Human Autonomy, People’s Well-Being, and Happiness

  4. Human Autonomy Across Cultures and Domains of Life: Health, Education, Interpersonal Relationships, and Work

  5. Human Autonomy in Modern Economy, Democracy Development, and Sustainability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 189-189
    2. Tim Kasser
      Pages 191-206
    3. Luc G. Pelletier, Daniel Baxter, Veronika Huta
      Pages 257-277
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 279-283

About this book


This collection of multi-disciplinary essays explores the nature of personal autonomy, considering its developmental origins, its expression within relationships, its importance within groups and organizational functioning, and its role in promoting the democratic and economic development of societies. In Human Autonomy in Cross-Cultural Context: Perspectives on the Psychology of Agency, Freedom, and Well-Being, the starting point for all essays is self-determination theory, which is an integrated theory of human motivation and healthy development that has been under development for more than three decades. From there, the essays go on to provide the following: a theoretical and conceptual account of the nature and psychological mechanisms of personal motivational autonomy and human agency; rich, multidisciplinary empirical evidence supporting the claims and propositions about the nature of human autonomy and capacities for self-regulation; explanations of how and why different psychological and socio-cultural conditions may play a role in promoting or undermining people’s autonomous motivation and well-being; and discussions of how the promotion of human autonomy can positively influence environmental protection, democracy promotion and economic prosperity. While the topics in this text are varied, the authors all share a vision that human autonomy is a fundamental pre-condition for both individuals and groups to thrive. They also collectively believe that without understanding the nature and mechanisms of autonomous agency, vital social and human problems cannot be satisfactorily addressed.


Autonomous motivation Psychological well-being basic psychological needs cross-cultural research social and cultural context

Editors and affiliations

  • Valery I. Chirkov
    • 1
  • Richard M. Ryan
    • 2
  • Kennon M. Sheldon
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. PsychologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Dept. Psychology,, Psychiatry & EducationUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Dept. PsychologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information