Browsing by Subject "self-determination theory"

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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
  • Holzer, Julia; Lüftenegger, Marko; Korlat, Selma; Pelikan, Elisabeth; Salmela-Aro, Katariina; Spiel, Christiane; Schober, Barbara (2021)
    In the wake of COVID-19, university students have experienced fundamental changes of their learning and their lives as a whole. The present research identifies psychological characteristics associated with students' well-being in this situation. We investigated relations of basic psychological need satisfaction (experienced competence, autonomy, and relatedness) with positive emotion and intrinsic learning motivation, considering self-regulated learning as a moderator. Self-reports were collected from 6,071 students in Austria (Study 1) and 1,653 students in Finland (Study 2). Structural equation modeling revealed competence as the strongest predictor for positive emotion. Intrinsic learning motivation was predicted by competence and autonomy in both countries and by relatedness in Finland. Moderation effects of self-regulated learning were inconsistent, but main effects on intrinsic learning motivation were identified. Surprisingly, relatedness exerted only a minor effect on positive emotion. The results inform strategies to promote students' well-being through distance learning, mitigating the negative effects of the situation.
  • Klockars, Stella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    To handle the pressure and maintain healthy mental wellbeing, employees would benefit from knowing how to manage their work motivation. Autonomously motivated employees do their job because they enjoy it or because of its personal importance. The self-determination theory states that employees, who are autonomously motivated experience positive outcomes, beneficial for both individuals and organizations. In order to be optimally motivated, the psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness must be satisfied. Previously, the self-determination theory has mostly focused on how social agents (e.g. managers) can create environments that satisfy these needs. However, employees themselves can also use techniques to self-manage their motivation, such as self-kindness or goal setting. The aims of this thesis are to examine how employees from a public sector organization describe how they manage their work motivation. Moreover, problems in which participants describe using 11 self-motivational techniques are examined. This study uses data from a six-week observational study, where 18 participants responded to brief mobile questionnaires five times during workdays. At the end of the study, individual interviews took place, which will be analysed with thematic analysis. The most frequently used techniques among the participants were goal setting, supporting others and obtaining support. Next, by interpreting different situations for which self-motivational techniques were used, I identified eight themes concerning problems: self-doubt, negative mindset, boring tasks, inability to change tasks, managing chaos, feeling stuck, need of social interaction and negative social interruptions. One technique could be used for solving different problems. The results of the research question, on how the participants describe their use of the techniques, show three main themes: self-management choice guided by self-concept, effects of study participation, and interconnectedness, and five sub-themes. The results show that the participants’ ways of managing their motivation were affected by e.g. their self- concept, their work role and the study participation. Moreover, in some cases, the participants did not separate between self-motivational techniques and regular work behaviour and that some aspects of the techniques led to uncertainty, such as how the participants had interpreted having used them and whether it was done consciously or not. In conclusion, the results shed light on how these techniques have been used and understood, which might have implications for how future research can study how employees can manage their own motivation. This study is among the first qualitative studies to investigate how people use self-enactable techniques to improve their quality of work motivation.
  • Koponen, Anne M.; Simonsen, Nina; Suominen, Sakari (2019)
    The results of this study showed the importance of autonomous motivation for healthy eating. Autonomous motivation and female gender were the determinants most strongly associated with fruits, vegetables, and berries intake among patients with type 2 diabetes. Other determinants of fruits, vegetables, and berries intake were high education, high social support, high age, and a strong sense of coherence. Autonomous motivation and self-care competence mediated the effect of perceived autonomy support from a physician on fruits, vegetables, and berries intake. Thus, physicians can promote patients' fruits, vegetables, and berries intake by supporting their autonomous motivation and self-care competence. The results are in line with self-determination theory.
  • Helminen, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In a varied working environment, individuals are expected to have an increasingly strong ability to tolerate change and adversity. Several research findings point out that a motivated person performs better in challenges, which enables them to succeed in their changing tasks. Therefore, it is important to understand how the factors that influence motivation are un-derstood on the individual level. Quantitative research has widely studied areas of work moti-vation, often using self-determination theory. In this research the theory of self-determination was used to pursue to give structure to the individual’s perception of factors influencing work motivation, and individual’s perceptions and experiences were emphasized rather than their generalizations and connections. The purpose of this qualitative research was to describe and understand media workers` per-ceptions of their motivation and how environment appears as part of perceptions. This research was carried out in collaboration with one media company. The data was collected with semi-structured interviews, where ten employees of the media company were interviewed. Educa-tional background of the interviewees was at least a bachelor’s degree, and all of them were currently working in various media positions. Among the interviewees were digital salespeople, product developers and a journalist manager. The data was analyzed with thematic analysis. As motivating factors media workers emphasized the possibility of influencing their own work, freedom, and responsibility, as well as internal rewards from work. Interviewees perceived as internal rewards the meaning of the work, self-development, and social support, and these were perceived as more significant than the value of the external rewards. The expectations to the organization were centered around development-friendly and equality-oriented work com-munity, where people work together but individual operating models are allowed. Based on this research, organizations would benefit from focusing on designing operating models and prac-tices which would allow for more flexible opportunities in considering individual wishes and goals in future decision making.
  • Suomalainen, Piia (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan Svenska nu -verkoston järjestämiä kouluvierailuja. Tutkielman tarkoituksena on selvittää, millainen vaikutus ruotsinkielisten vierailijoiden pitämillä oppitunneilla on lukiolaisten ruotsin opiskeluun. Aihetta lähestytään kolmen tutkimuskysymyksen avulla. Ensimmäiseksi tarkastellaan, aktivoivatko vierailijoiden pitämät tunnit oppilaita puhumaan ruotsia. Toiseksi analysoidaan, lisäävätkö kouluvierailut oppilaiden motivaatiota opiskella ruotsia. Kolmanneksi tarkastellaan ruotsinopettajien näkemyksiä Svenska nu -verkoston toiminnasta ja sen hyödyistä ruotsin opetuksessa. Aineisto on kerätty observoimalla kolmea Svenska nu -vierailijoiden pitämää oppituntia sekä haastattelemalla oppilaita ja opettajia tuntien jälkeen. Aineistoa analysoidaan sisällönanalyysin menetelmällä. Tutkimus osoittaa, että Svenska nu -verkoston kouluvierailut ovat sisällöltään vaihtelevia. Oppilailla oli aktiivinen rooli kahdella kolmesta observoidusta oppitunnista. Myös kommunikatiivisuuden määrä vaihteli oppituntien välillä. Vain yksi oppitunneista oli täysin kommunikatiivinen. Tutkimuksesta käy myös ilmi, että oppilaat suhtautuvat Svenska nu -vierailuihin positiivisesti. Oppitunnit sisältävät monia piirteitä, jotka voivat johtaa sisäiseen motivaatioon. Oppilaiden motivaatioon oppituntien aikana vaikuttaa erityisesti tuntien haastavuus suhteessa oppilaiden osaamistasoon. Vierailijat pystyvät vaikuttamaan oppilaiden motivaatioon muun muassa kääntämällä vaikeita sanoja suomeksi sekä havainnollistamalla asioita eleiden avulla. Lisäksi tutkimus osoittaa, että opettajat suhtautuvat Svenska nu -verkoston toimintaan erittäin positiivisesti. Heidän mielestään toiminta hyödyttää ruotsin opetusta vaikuttamalla muun muassa oppilaiden asenteisiin ruotsia kohtaan. Opettajat eivät kuitenkaan usko, että oppilaat oppivat erityisen paljon ruotsia kouluvierailuiden aikana. Opettajat pitävät erityisen hyvänä sitä, että Svenska nun kautta voi tilata ruotsinkielisen vierailijan suoraan kouluun.
  • Loukomies, Anni; Pnevmatikos, Dimitris; Lavonen, Jari; Spyrtou, Anna; Byman, Reijo; Kariotoglou, Petros; Juuti, Kalle (2013)
    This study aimed to design a teaching sequence for science education that enabled lower secondary school students to enhance their motivation towards science. Further, it looked to examine the way the designed teaching sequence affected students with different motivational profiles. Industry site visits, with embodied theory-based motivational features were included as part of the designed teaching sequence. The sequence was implemented in Finland and Greece with 54 participants, 27 from each country. Quantitative data was collected using the Evaluation of Science Inquiry Activities Questionnaire, based on the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory but did not map the expected outcomes. Interviews, however, showed that students with different motivational profiles found aspects within the module that met their psychological needs as explained by Self-Determination Theory. The results offer a perspective to adolescents’ psychological needs along with some insights into how students mediate the way they value an activity in the context of science education.
  • Vesa, Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Työntekijöiden itseohjautuvuus, sisäinen motivaatio, työssä viihtyminen sekä työhön sitoutuminen ovat saaneet paljon huomiota työelämän keskusteluissa – niin tutkimuksen parissa kuin arkisemmissa keskusteluissakin. Työelämän murros aiheuttaa muutospaineita organisaatioille työntekijöiden sitouttamisen ja hyvinvoinnin tukemisen näkökulmasta. Tutkimuksen teoreettinen tausta pohjautuu itseohjautuvuusteoriaan, joka on teoria ihmisen motivaatiosta ja kolmesta psykologisesta perustarpeesta yksilön hyvinvoinnin ja kasvun taustalla. Itseohjautuvuusteorian kolmea psykologista perustarvetta autonomiaa, yhteisöllisyyttä ja kyvykkyyttä on pidetty pohjana työntekijöiden hyvinvoinnille, sisäisen motivaation kehittymiselle ja sitoutumiselle. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan kokemuksia näiden kolmen psykologisen perustarpeen toteutumisesta teknologia-asiantuntijaorganisaatiossa. Tavoitteena on selvittää työntekijöiden puhetta tarkastelemalla perustarpeiden ilmentymisen muotoja sekä kokemuksia niiden täyttymiseen ja estymiseen vaikuttavista tekijöistä. Tätä kautta tutkimus pyrkii selvittämään työntekijöiden viihtymiseen ja sitoutumiseen vaikuttavia asioita. Tutkimusaineisto koostuu viidestä työntekijän teemahaastattelusta, joissa selvitettiin psykologisiin perustarpeisiin liittyviä kokemuksia. Haastattelut toteutettiin jakamalla ne kolmeen eri teemaan perustarpeiden mukaisesti. Työntekijöiden kokemuksia tarkasteltiin litteroinnin jälkeen teorialähtöisen sisällönanalyysin avulla. Työntekijät ilmentävät psykologisia perustarpeita puheessaan eri tavoin. Työntekijöiden autonomiaan liittämästä puheesta oli tulkittavissa autonomian edellytyksenä pidettäviä tekijöitä, autonomian elementtejä yleisemmin, eväitä sen toteutumiselle, autonomian seurauksia sekä autonomisen tekemisen kielteisiksi koettuja puolia. Yhteisöllisyydestä ja yhteyksistä eri tekijöiden välillä työntekijät puhuvat eri abstraktiotasoin. Sitä ilmennettiin käytännöllisenä ja konkreettisena yhteytenä viitaten esimerkiksi arkiseen yhteydenpitoon ja toisaalta henkisenä yhteytenä, viitaten esimerkiksi jakamisen sekä sitoutumisen kokemuksiin. Kyvykkyyttä työntekijät kuvasivat puhumalla henkilökohtaisesta kyvykkyydestään ja sitä kautta työssä pärjäämisestään. Lisäksi he kuvasivat, miten ympäristö vaikuttaa tai voi vaikuttaa kyvykkyyden kokemiseen. Perustarpeiden eri ilmenemismuotojen luokittelun jälkeen, eritellään työntekijöiden kokemuksia perustarpeita edistävistä ja estävistä tekijöistä. Autonomian koetaan toteutuvan työympäristössä monin eri tavoin. Autonomiaa kuvattiin esimerkiksi monin eri vapauden tasoin. Työntekijät viittasivat liialliseen vapauteen, yksinäisyyteen ja fokuksen puutteeseen autonomian kääntöpuolina. Yhteisöllisyys mahdollistui työntekijöiden kokemusten mukaan vaihtelevasti arkisessa tekemisessä, kommunikaatiossa ja henkisesti koettuna yhteytenä. Kyvykkyyden kokemukset vaihtelevat työntekijästä riippuen. Kyvykkyys ilmeni työntekijöille henkilökohtaisena varmuutena, epävarmuutena ja haastavasta tekemisestä selviämisenä. Kyvykkyydestä ympäristövälitteisesti puhuttaessa, ympäristöltä toivottiin enemmän tukea ja sitä, että se loisi koulutus- ja kehitysmahdollisuuksia. Tiimin kyvykkyyden koettiin edistävän omaa kyvykkyyttä. Kyvykkyys koettiin myös työtehtävistä sekä resursseista riippuvaiseksi. Itseohjautuvuusteoria ja psykologiset perustarpeet on todettu hyödyllisiksi organisaatioiden kehittämisen kannalta, sillä ne tarjoavat konseptin, joka ohjaa sellaisten käytäntöjen ja ympäristön luomista, jotka edesauttavat työntekijöiden hyvinvointia, laadukasta toimintaa, itseohjautuvuuden ymmärtämistä ja sitä kautta mahdollisuutta tukea sitä.
  • Sihvonen, Helena (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    Master's degree in Early Childhood Education consists of 120 credits and it trains Early Childhood Education specialists and developers. In the Spring of 2013 85 people applied for studies. 40 new students were chosen. To apply for studies candidates have to write a motivation-essay. In the essay there are five questions candidates have to answer. The purpose of these questions is to find out candidates earlier work experience, training, potential challenges in studies, knowledge about the degree and motives for studying. The theory section of my master's thesis consists of motivation theories, from which Self-Determination Theory is the most relevant. I'm also going to introduce motives for adult education, because most of the candidates have been working for many years after graduating. 55 motivation essays are the research material of my study. The purpose of my study is to find out why these candidates want to apply for Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. I also want to find out if there are some kind of similarities in candidate's motives. This study is a qualitative content analysis. By reading essays carefully, I'll find phrases that answer my research questions. Similar motives belong to same group of motives. I have also quantified research results in a chart. In my research I found out that there are five types of motives for applying for studies: making research, developing oneself, advancing in career, social influencing and postgraduate studies. Largest group was those who wanted to advance in their career. 50 candidates mentioned it. Most of the candidates had more than one motive to apply for studies. Second largest group was those who wanted to develop their professional skills, it was mentioned in 40 essays. My aim is to compare research result with motive theories. By comparing results with motivation theories, I was able to conclude that some of the motives were intrinsic and some were extrinsic. Advancing in career and postgraduate studies are extrinsic motives. Developing oneself and making research are intrinsic motives. Social influencing can be perceived as intrinsic or extrinsic motive.
  • 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.