Revisiting the Self-Determination Theory-Motivating the Unmotivated

Ela Luria

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1 Scopus citations


This article is a review of the Self-determination theory (SDT) of Moti-vation. The theory identifies motivation as a continuum ranging from amotivation to extrinsic motivation and finally to intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Intrinsic motivation, thought of as the highest form of motivation satisfying the innate psychological needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. These psychological needs are given as a pro-totype of self-determined behavior and activity. The theory suggests that extrinsic motivated behaviors can vary in the extent to which they rep-resent Self-determination, ranging from the lowest type of external regulation motivation to the highest type of integrated motivation. In this review I wish to present the SDT theory of motivation and to argue that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation must be reconsidered. Although I ac-knowledge the positive effects of intrinsic motivation I urge educators and researchers to consider the benefits of extrinsic motivation. I criti-cally examine the evidence for and against the model, discuss its limitations, and identify critical gaps for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Practice and Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 James Nicholas Publishers.


  • extrinsic motivation
  • generation gap
  • human motivation
  • intrinsic motivation
  • motivation
  • motivational process
  • neuroscience
  • psychological needs
  • self-determination theory (SDT)


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