Motivation and Self-Determination

Write a paper 35 page paper that applies self-determination theory and related concepts to a problem related to motivation and performance.


What drives one person to persevere through challenges when others may give up? What do our perceptions of ourselves have to do with perseverance? Can our self-perceptions affect us without our awareness?

For this assessment, you will explore human psychological needs and how they shape motivation. In other assessments, as well, you will return to psychological needs. This assessment will focus specifically on the idea of self-determination and nuances that make up self-determination. Youll interact with the concepts that go into self-determination, such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation along with others, and will apply them to a topic in psychology.


For this assessment, you’ll write a 35 page paper that applies self-determination theory and related concepts to a problem related to motivation and performance. Self-determination theory supports the premise that people want to direct their motivation toward goals based on psychological needs, such as needs for autonomy, creativity, and connectedness to others. Self-determination can be accessed and encouraged to solve problems that lead to self-defeating behaviors, such as unhealthy eating, procrastination toward desired outcomes, and other behaviors that can lead to poor health or interfere with personal goals.

Use the APA Paper Template [DOCX] to complete this assessment. 


For this assessment, choose one problem area from the first list below to explore and then apply self-determination theory and related concepts to recommend a way to intervene in the problem. In other words, how can a person apply self-determination to help themselves toward a better outcome in a specific area?

First, select one of the problem areas that affect human motivation and performance:

  • Procrastination.
  • Overeating.
  • Poor sleep (from stress, worry, hypervigilance, and so forth).

Then select at least one of the following areas related to self-determination that could be applied to intervene with the motivation problem:

  • Competence.
  • Connection or relatedness.
  • Autonomy.

In addition to the areas above, the following concepts related to self-determination theory may appear in your reading:

  • Self-regulation.
  • Internal or intrinsic motivation.
  • External or extrinsic motivation.
  • Self-handicapping.

You are not required to include all of these concepts, but addressing one or more of them is appropriate as you discuss the selected problem area, the theory supporting your discussion, and related research on self-determination.

In your paper, do the following:

  1. Construct an overview of a problem in human motivation. (For example, consider how many people have the problem and why. What outcomes happen as a result of the problem, such as psychological, physical, or economic consequences?)
  2. Apply self-determination theory to the understanding of a problem in human motivation. (Think about how the theory gives a more in-depth understanding of the problem from a motivational perspective).
  3. Apply research findings to understanding a problem in human motivation. (What research has been conducted on the problem and how does this help us to better understand it?).
  4. Apply motivational theory to a recommended solution to a problem in human motivation. (Consider how the theory explains or supports a solution.)
  5. Apply research findings to a recommended solution to a problem in human motivation. (In other words, present evidence to show that your suggested solution has the potential to be effective).
  6. Write in a manner that is generally concise, logically organized, and with correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
    • For writing assistance, visit the Capella University Writing Center.
  7. Apply APA guidelines to the format of the title page, in-text citations, and reference page.
    • For guidance, see Evidence and APA.


A minimum of three resources is required

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