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  1. Edward L. Deci,
  2. Richard M. Ryan

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0834

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Deci, E. L. and Ryan, R. M. 2010. Self-Determination. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Rochester

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Early psychological scientists interested in the regulation of behavior focused primarily on reinforcements such as tangible rewards that were said to strengthen the associative bonds that regulated people's behavior (Hull, 1943; Skinner, 1953). An associative bond is a hypothetical construct represented as a mechanistic link between some type of stimulus and a particular response, which then prompts the response when that stimulus is present. With reinforcements and associative bonds as the determiners of behavior, people's thoughts were said to be irrelevant to the causes of behavior.


  • human autonomy;
  • choice;
  • internalization;
  • integration;
  • basic psychological needs