University of Rochester

Survey of Research Grows from Deci-Ryan Groundbreaking Work

July 15, 2002

The University of Rochester Press has published a new volume on the current state of research that applies Self-Determination Theory to human motivation.

Handbook of Self-Determination Research ($95 cloth, 470 pages) summarizes the work of more than 30 psychologists representing universities and institutes in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Germany. Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, professors of psychology at the University of Rochester, edited the book.

Since the 1985 publication of Deci's and Ryan's Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior, researchers around the world have studied their approach to motivational issues underlying human behavior. Using either the work of Deci and Ryan or related theoretical perspectives, these researchers met at the University of Rochester in 1999 to present their findings from laboratory experiments and field studies.

Self-Determination Theory espouses that people are intrinsically motivated; they learn and explore for their own sake without requiring external rewards. These actions only occur when people are able to satisfy their basic needs.

In this volume, researchers who attended the conference discuss their contributions to the study of human motivation. The book's editors observe how readily the concepts of Self-Determination Theory have been applied to life situations with topics as diverse as medicine, parenting, education, work, cultural values, sports, the environment, and institutional reform.

Deci and Ryan are members of the faculty in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology.