Browsing by Subject "autonomous motivation"

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  • Palsola, Minttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Adolescents continue to be affected by behavior-related health risk factors such as low levels of physical activity. They can be motivated to be more physically active in various ways, but they can also take agency in their own behavior change and use different behavior change techniques to manage and maintain their behavior. According to self-determination theory, the quality of motivation is key in behavior change, as fostering autonomous motivation should lead to long-lasting wellbeing-enhancing changes, whereas controlled motivation might have adverse effects. There is some evidence of the positive effects of the use of individual behavior change techniques on physical activity, but the effects of their use on motivational constructs is less studied. The aim of this thesis is to map the effects of (1) the use of individual self-motivating behavior change techniques on changes in physical activity-related autonomous and controlled motivation, (2) the total use of self-motivating behavior change techniques on changes in physical activity-related autonomous and controlled motivation, and (3) the total use of self-motivational behavior change techniques, and controlled and autonomous motivation on changes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. This thesis utilizes data from Let’s Move It, a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a school-based physical activity intervention (baseline N=767, post-intervention N=687). At both time points, participants self-reported use of three self-motivational techniques (reflecting on identity congruence, life values congruence and thinking about personal motives) on a scale from 1 to 6, and their autonomous and controlled motivation on a scale from 1 to 5. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was assessed with 7-day accelerometry. Their associations are analyzed with multivariate regression models corrected for age, gender and baseline levels of motivation or physical activity. The findings show that reflecting on life identity congruence (autonomous motivation; AM β=0.202, p<.001; controlled motivation; CM β=0.132, p<.001), life values congruence (AM β=0.184, p<.001; CM β=0.112, p<.001), and thinking about personal motives (AM β=0.246, p<.001; CM β=0.175, p<.001), as well as their total use (AM β=0.260, p<.001; CM β=0.157, p<.001), were all associated with both autonomous and controlled motivation. Total self-motivational behavior change technique use (β= -0.026, p=.617) and controlled motivation (β= -0.037, p=.373) had no detectable effects on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but autonomous motivation (β=0.135, p<0.05) did. This thesis sheds light on the actions that individuals can take themselves to foster their motivation. Understanding how adolescents can self-motivate themselves can give insight into how to sustain a sense of autonomy while navigating through different life situations, and thus help to achieve long-lasting and wellbeing enhancing behaviors.
  • Nurmi, Johanna; Knittle, Keegan; Ginchev, Todor; Khattak, Fida; Helf, Christopher; Zwickl, Patrick; Castellano-Tejedor, Carmina; Lusilla-Palacios, Pilar; Costa-Requena, Jose; Ravaja, Niklas; Haukkala, Ari (2020)
    Background: Most adults do not engage in sufficient physical activity to maintain good health. Smartphone apps are increasingly used to support physical activity but typically focus on tracking behaviors with no support for the complex process of behavior change. Tracking features do not engage all users, and apps could better reach their targets by engaging users in reflecting their reasons, capabilities, and opportunities to change. Motivational interviewing supports this active engagement in self-reflection and self-regulation by fostering psychological needs proposed by the self-determination theory (ie, autonomy, competence, and relatedness). However, it is unknown whether digitalized motivational interviewing in a smartphone app engages users in this process. Objective: This study aimed to describe the theory- and evidence-based development of the Precious app and to examine how digitalized motivational interviewing using a smartphone app engages users in the behavior change process. Specifically, we aimed to determine if use of the Precious app elicits change talk in participants and how they perceive autonomy support in the app. Methods: A multidisciplinary team built the Precious app to support engagement in the behavior change process. The Precious app targets reflective processes with motivational interviewing and spontaneous processes with gamified tools, and builds on the principles of self-determination theory and control theory by using 7 relational techniques and 12 behavior change techniques. The feasibility of the app was tested among 12 adults, who were asked to interact with the prototype and think aloud. Semistructured interviews allowed participants to extend their statements. Participants’ interactions with the app were video recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with deductive thematic analysis to identify the theoretical themes related to autonomy support and change talk. Results: Participants valued the autonomy supportive features in the Precious app (eg, freedom to pursue personally relevant goals and receive tailored feedback). We identified the following five themes based on the theory-based theme autonomy support: valuing the chance to choose, concern about lack of autonomy, expecting controlling features, autonomous goals, and autonomy supportive feedback. The motivational interviewing features actively engaged participants in reflecting their outcome goals and reasons for activity, producing several types of change talk and very little sustain talk. The types of change talk identified were desire, need, reasons, ability, commitment, and taking steps toward change. Conclusions: The Precious app takes a unique approach to engage users in the behavior change process by targeting both reflective and spontaneous processes. It allows motivational interviewing in a mobile form, supports psychological needs with relational techniques, and targets intrinsic motivation with gamified elements. The motivational interviewing approach shows promise, but the impact of its interactive features and tailored feedback needs to be studied over time. The Precious app is undergoing testing in a series of n-of-1 randomized controlled trials. KEYWORDS health app; mHealth; human-computer interaction; prevention; service design; usability design; intrinsic motivation; reflective processes; spontaneous processes; engagement; self-determination theory; autonomous motivation; gamification; physical activity
  • Knittle, Keegan Phillip; Nurmi, Johanna; Crutzen, Rik; Hankonen, Nelli Elisa; Beattie, Marguerite; Dombrowski, Stephan (2018)
    Motivation is a proximal determinant of behaviour, and increasing motivation is central to most health behaviour change interventions. This systematic review and meta-analysis sought to identify features of physical activity interventions associated with favourable changes in three prominent motivational constructs: intention, stage of change and autonomous motivation. A systematic literature search identified 89 intervention studies (k=200; N=19,212) which assessed changes in these motivational constructs for physical activity. Intervention descriptions were coded for potential moderators, including behaviour change techniques (BCTs), modes of delivery and theory use. Random effects comparative subgroup analyses identified 18 BCTs and 10 modes of delivery independently associated with changes in at least one motivational outcome (effect sizes ranged from d=0.12 to d=0.74). Interventions delivered face-to-face or in gym settings, or which included the BCTs behavioural goal setting', self-monitoring (behaviour)' or behavioural practice/rehearsal', or which combined self-monitoring (behaviour) with any other BCT derived from control theory, were all associated with beneficial changes in multiple motivational constructs (effect sizes ranged from d=0.12 to d=0.46). Meta-regression analyses indicated that increases in intention and stage of change, but not autonomous motivation, were significantly related to increases in physical activity. The intervention characteristics associated with changes in motivation seemed to form clusters related to behavioural experience and self-regulation, which have previously been linked to changes in physical activity behaviour. These BCTs and modes of delivery merit further systematic study, and can be used as a foundation for improving interventions targeting increases in motivation for physical activity.
  • Havupolku, Saana-Maria (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Digitalisation, automation, and globalisation have caused significant changes in the nature of work during recent decades. During volatile times, the importance of motivated employees and the ability to produce new innovations is highlighted. The aim of this master’s thesis is to study the connection between quality of work motivation and innovative work behaviour, which consists of idea generation, promotion, and realisation. Self-determination theory’s (Deci & Ryan, 2000; 1985) conceptualisation on autonomous (intrinsic and identified) and controlled (introjected and external) motivational types and the three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) are used as the key theoretical standpoint. This quantitative research studies whether satisfaction of the three basic needs is positively connected to autonomous forms of motivation, whether autonomous forms of motivation are positively connected to innovative work behaviour, and whether the three basic needs are positively connected to innovative work behaviour. Furthermore, the mediating influence of autonomous motivation types in the relationships between the three basic needs and innovative work behaviour is also studied. A cross-sectional survey study was conducted to test the hypotheses. The data consist of responses of 92 knowledge workers (response rate 25.6%) from headquarters of a large Finnish organisation. The sample group is characterised by high educational level (81.6% of participants had lower- or higher-degree tertiary education from university or university of applied sciences) and quite even gender distribution (58.7% females and 40.2% males). In addition to background information, respondents answered to questions related to need satisfaction, motivational types, and innovative work behaviour. All the scales used in this research are developed specifically for work context and they have been validated in previous studies. The main statistical methods included linear regression analysis, Spearman correlation analysis, t-test, and one-way analysis of variance, and the factorial structures of scales were assessed with exploratory factor analysis. The mediation model was tested using the causal steps by Baron and Kenny (1986). The results show partial support for hypotheses. Autonomy and competence are positively connected to autonomous types of motivation, and all three basic needs are negatively connected to amotivation, i.e. lack of motivation. Only intrinsic motivation of the four motivational types explains positively and statistically significantly innovative work behaviour, and the coefficient of determination is notable (R2 adj. = .21) considering all the possible antecedents influencing innovativeness. Innovative work behaviour correlates positively with competence and autonomy, but only competence explains innovative work behaviour positively and statistically significantly in regression analysis. Intrinsic motivation mediates fully the connection between competence and innovative work behaviour, also when the effects of autonomy and relatedness are controlled. The influence of relatedness on autonomous types of motivation and innovative work motivation remains unclear. The results of this research indicate that innovative work behaviour might be endorsed among knowledge workers by supporting employees’ intrinsic motivation, which can be done by supporting their satisfaction of needs for autonomy and competence. According to previous research, autonomy can be supported by allowing influence on how, when, and what tasks are done, as well as including employees in goal setting and decision making, whereas competence can be supported by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, allocating tasks so that they match employees’ skills, and providing training for employees.