Cross-Cultural Motivation and Self-Determination
For decades researchers have studied human motivation and the process of developing self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 1980, 1985, 1991; Deci & Ryan, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2000; Deci & Ryan, 2008; Vallarand, Pelletier, and Koestner, 2008). Human motivation is the drive to change personal or public behaviors on an individual or societal level. Self-determination theory presupposes that motivation is the inner impetus to implement sustained change independent of control by others (Deci & Ryan, 2000; 2008). Deci and Ryan (2008) and Milyavskaya and Koestner (2011) suggested that SDT ...view middle of the document...
Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness
The association of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to the satisfaction of basic psychological needs has been the topic of Deci’s and Ryan’s research in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000). According to SDT theory, the development of self-determination is contingent upon the fulfillment of autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Ryan & Deci, 2008; Deci & Ryan, 2009; Ryan, Lynch, Vansteenkiste & Deci, 2010); however, the manner in which these needs are met in relation to the Hays (2009) cultural influences is generally absent from the literature. The question remains as to the characterization of these constructs cross culturally.
Although there is a plethora of literature on motivation and self-determination, the concept of the cross cultural definitions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness is absent. Hays (2009) distinguished cultural groups according to the presence of the following variables: age, disability, religion, ethnicity/race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic level, indigenous heritage, national origin, and gender. The organismic-dialectical interchange involves not only the internal process of motivation, but the individual’s social world view (Haggar & Chatzisarantis, 2011; Chirkov, Saskatchewan, Ryan, Kim, Kaplan, 2003; Deci & Ryan, 2000). Reflecting upon self-determination cross culturally according to the Hays framework requires that one think particularly in terms of individualism versus collectivism. Are the constructs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness subject to a universal definition or are they distinct within collectivist cultures?
According to Deci and Ryan (2000) autonomy is essential for the development of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation requires that the behavior be freely chosen separate from environmental rewards or punishments, and that the individual have a belief that she is capable of achieving the goal. According to Lepper, Green, and Nesbitt (1973) the introduction of extrinsic rewards or negative feedback actually counteracts intrinsic motivation as the individual no longer performs the act as a result of interest and joy, but by the controlling force of the reward or perceived punishment decreasing autonomy. Positive feedback does, however, assist in supporting intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Positive feedback supports satisfaction of the need for competence by increasing the self confidence of the recipient (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Positive feedback may additionally be associated with relatedness as positive feedback comes from an external individual who provides a connection to the individual performing the action. It appears that autonomy and competence are essential for intrinsic motivation while relatedness may not be (McGilloway, 2011).
In contrast to Deci and Ryan (2000) who suggested that the need for autonomy in motivation is cross-cultural, Iyengar and Lepper (1999) suggested that with Chinese...