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Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination

  • Edward L. Deci
  • Richard M. Ryan
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)

Abstract

The human organism is inherently active, and there is perhaps no place. where this is more evident than in little children. They pick things up, shake them, smell them, taste them, throw them across the room, and keep asking, “What’s this?” They are unendingly curious, and they want to see the effects of their actions. Children are intrinsically motivated to learn, to undertake challenges, and to solve problems. Adults are also intrinsically motivated to do a variety of things. They spend large amounts of time painting pictures, building furniture, playing sports, whittling wood, climbing mountains, and doing countless other things for which there are no obvious or appreciable external rewards. The rewards are inherent in the activity, and even though there may be secondary gains, the primary motivators are the spontaneous, internal experiences that accompany the behavior.

Keywords

Intrinsic Motivation Motivate Behavior Extrinsic Motivation Incongruous Stimulus Secondary Reinforcement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward L. Deci
    • 1
  • Richard M. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RochesterRochesterUSA

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