Autonomous Motives Foster Sustained Commitment to Action: Integrating Self-Determination Theory and the Social Identity Approach

Lisette Yip, Emma F. Thomas, Catherine Amiot, Winnifred R. Louis, Craig McGarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social change movements may take years or decades to achieve their goals and thus require ongoing efforts from their supporters. We apply the insights of self-determination theory to examine sustained collective action over time. We expected that autonomous motivation, but not controlled motivation, would predict sustained action. We also examine whether autonomous motivation shapes and is shaped by social identification as a supporter of the cause. Longitudinal data were collected from supporters of global poverty reduction (N = 263) at two timepoints 1 year apart. Using latent change score modeling, we found that increases in autonomous motivation positively predicted increases in opinion-based group identification, which in turn predicted increases in self-reported collective action. Controlled motivation (Time 1) negatively predicted changes in action. We concluded that autonomous motivation predicts sustained action over time, while promoting controlled motives for action may backfire because it may undermine identification with the cause.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-765
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume50
Issue number5
Early online date21 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Keywords

  • collective action
  • global poverty reduction
  • self-determination theory
  • social identification

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous Motives Foster Sustained Commitment to Action: Integrating Self-Determination Theory and the Social Identity Approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this