Self-determination theory (SDT) is an empirically based theory of motivation and psychological development that is especially focused on the basic psychological needs that promote high quality motivation and wellness, and how they are supported in social contexts. SDT details how the styles and strategies of motivators such as parents, teachers, coaches, managers, and health-care professionals can promote or undermine engagement and the positive consequences that follow from it. In this course, Professor Richard Ryan, co-founder of the theory, will provide an overview of SDT with special emphasis on how autonomy, competence, and relatedness supports and facilitates behavioral persistence, quality of relationships, and healthy developmental processes, among other topics. He will also discuss the convergence of behavioral phenomenological and neuropsychological aspects of autonomy within SDT research. In addition, he will illustrate practical applications of SDT, with emphasis on educational, work, sport, healthcare and psychotherapy settings.
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