The motivation continuum: self-determination theory in one picture

Elements from self-determination theory are somewhat known to many people. Particularly, the terms intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are familiar to many people. Also reasonably well-known are the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Recently someone said to me: "I have heard of several elements of the theory but I find it hard to get a good overview of the it." If you feel the same, the picture below may be useful for you. It is my most recent version of the so-called motivation-continuum. There are many version of this model in circulation and they are all variations on and extension of the original version by Ryan & Deci (2000). In the picture below I show which types of motivation emerge in which contexts, and what their effects are on our behaviors, emotions, and performance (click to enlarge).

Use this for citation: Visser, C.F. (2017). The motivation continuum: self-determination theory in one picture. Retrieved from


Anonymous said…
I am writing a dissertation that used SDT as a conceptual framework. I have found your continuum especially useful. May I use it, with proper credit, to map some of my findings in my conclusion? I will be happy to share the final outcome.
Anonymous said…
I just realized that I commented anonymously. My email address is -- for permission to use/adapt your continuum. Thank you.
Coert Visser said…
Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for reaching out to me. I'm glad to hear that my version of the framework has been helpful to you. You are welcome to use it in your dissertation. I look forward to seeing the final outcome of your research. Best of luck with your dissertation!
kris bowen said…
Hello Mr. Visser,

Would it be possible to use/adapt your graphic in my disseration?

Thanks so much!

Kris -
Coert Visser said…
Dear Kris,

Thank you for your interest. You have my permission to use and adapt the graphic for your dissertation. I appreciate a mention in your credits.

Best wishes with your work!

Coert Visser