Self-Determination Theory & Exercise Behaviour

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  • SDT and exercise behaviour
    • Edward Deci & Richard Ryan (1985, 1991)
      • Hypothesises that motivation and behaviour are based on individual differences in motivational orientations
        • This theory concerns with human motivation, personality, and optimal functioning; involving different types of motivation
    • 3 innate psychological needs
      • Competence
        • a mastery of things important to you
        • essential to wellness
      • Autonomy
        • self-endorsed
        • congruent with yourself
        • self-initiating
      • Relatedness
        • cared for and connected to others
        • a sense of belonging
      • Satisfaction of these three needs during exercise or PA associate with an increased sense of well-being and more positive emotions (Quested and Duda 2010).
      • Related to Intrinsically Motivated Behaviour
    • Motivation
      • "Human beings want to satisfy their needs for competence, autonomy and social relatedness. Intrinsic motivation can be enhanced by creating environments that boost these three needs (Biddle, Mutrie & Gorely, 2015, pp. 212).
      • Motivation refers to the direction (choice), intensity and persistence of one’s behaviour (Biddle, Mutrie & Gorely).
        • 'Persistence' suggests that sustained behaviour requires motivation to be maintained.
        • ‘Direction’ suggests there is a choice in one’s physical activity behaviour (e.g. I choose to be active this week because…)
        • 'Intensity' suggests that involvement in a behaviour can vary in strength. 
    • Intrinsic Motivation
      • “ doing of an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequences”
    • Extrinsic Motivation
      • “ a construct that pertains whenever an activity is done in order to attain some separable outcome.”


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