The Self-Determination Theory And Physical Activity

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The self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) has been widely applied to physical activity highlighting that an individual’s levels of personal motivation can have quite a significant impact on their physical activity and psychological functioning. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & Duda, 2009). The self-determination theory is a macro-theory that explores what regulates motivation and whether certain behaviours are autonomous or self-regulated. Three essential and universal psychological needs are established, these being autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and these needs are essential for development. Different facets within the social environment can promote or discourage the satisfaction of certain psychological needs. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & …show more content…
(Teixeira, Carraça, Markland, Silva & Ryan, 2012). Research from a variety of countries, testing numerous cultures has found that satisfaction of the social determination theory’s three psychological needs do predict well-being. (Deci & Ryan, 2008). When the three psychological needs, autonomy, competence and relatedness are met, an individual will experience heightened levels of health and wellbeing. Autonomy is related to having control over one’s own behaviour and actions. Individuals have a psychological need to have self-indorsed behaviour, and physical activity is more likely to occur when individuals are in control of their motivation. (Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006). Competence is a psychological need that involves an individual’s ability to interact with the environment, experiencing opportunities to exercise and achieve desired outcomes. For example, this need could be met by achieving physical tasks with the help of a personal trainer. The final psychological need, relatedness, refers to having positive interaction with others in a social environment. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & Duda, 2009) For example, this could be developing friendships within sporting teams. If an individual’s psychological needs are met, they are more likely to remain autonomously motivated and maintain physical activity. …show more content…
(Teixeira, Carraça, Markland, Silva & Ryan, 2012) Extrinsic motivation is a controlled motivation that contains four different regulatory types. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & Duda, 2009) The type of extrinsic motivation that encompasses the greatest amount of self-determination is integrated control. It involves values and beliefs that individuals have, for example exercise just being considered a part of one’s everyday lifestyle. Health professionals could develop integrated control motivation in Australia by attempting to make exercise a commonly accepted part of life in every household, hence improving levels of physical health. Identified regulation refers to the value benefits of exercise, for example heightened levels of good health. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & Duda, 2009) Health professionals could target individuals identified regulation by promoting the benefits of physical activity. Introjected regulation is exercising to avoid guilty feelings, which correlates with a low self-determination. Lastly, external regulation is exercising because of external pressures. (Ntoumanis, Edmunds & Duda, 2009)It is the least self-determined motivation, an example of this would be a man exercising because his wife pressures him to lose weight. Health professionals and psychologists can use the

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