Edward L. Deci

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Edward L. Deci (/ˈdsi/[1]) is a Professor of Psychology and Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Rochester, and director of its human motivation program. He is well known in psychology for his theories of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and basic psychological needs. With Richard Ryan, he is the co-founder of self-determination theory (SDT), an influential contemporary motivational theory. Self-determination theory is a macro theory of human motivation that differentiates between autonomous and controlled forms of motivation; the theory has been applied to predict behavior and inform behavior change in many contexts including: education, health care, work organizations, parenting, and sport (as well as many others).

Deci is also Director of the Monhegan Museum (in Monhegan, Maine) where he spends his summers writing about psychology and art (though rarely at the same time).

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