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Edward L. Deci

Edward L. Deci

Edward L. Deci is professor of psychology and Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of Rochester, where he is a member of the Human Motivation Program in the Department of Psychology. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University, studied at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School), the University of London (London School of Economics), and Hamilton College. He was an interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.

For 40 years Deci has been engaged in a program of research on human motivation that has led to and been organized by Self-Determination Theory. He has published ten books, including: Intrinsic Motivation (Plenum, 1975); The Psychology of Self-Determination (D.C. Heath, 1980); Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Human Behavior (co-authored with R. M. Ryan, Plenum, 1985); and Why We Do What We Do (Putnam, 1995; Viking/Penguin, 1996). His writings have been translated into seven languages, including Japanese, German, and Spanish.

A grantee of the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Science Foundation, and the Institute for Education Sciences, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, Deci has lectured and consulted for corporations, public school systems, mental health agencies, universities, and governmental bureaus throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, England, Jordan, Germany, Israel, Finland, Poland, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Thailand, Spain, Bulgaria, and Denmark. He also has a private practice in psychotherapy.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Assor, A., Roth, G., & Deci, E. L. (2004). The emotional costs of parents’ conditional regard: A self-determination theory analysis. Journal of Personality, 72, 47-89.
  • Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627-668.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268.
  • Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Gagné, M., Leone, D. R., Usunov, J., & Kornazheva, B. P. (2001). Need satisfaction, motivation, and well-being in the work organizations of a former Eastern Bloc country. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 930-942.
  • La Guardia, J. G., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Within-person variation in security of attachment: A self-determination theory perspective on attachment, need fulfillment, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 367-384.
  • Moller, A. C., Deci, E. L., & Elliot, A. J. (2010). Person-level relatedness and the incremental value of relating. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 754-767.
  • Roth, G., Assor, A., Niemiec, C. P., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2009). The emotional and academic consequences of parental conditional regard: Comparing conditional positive regard, conditional negative regard, and autonomy support as parenting practices. Developmental Psychology, 45, 1119-1142.
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
  • Williams, G. C. McGregor, H. A., Zeldman, A., Freedman, Z. R., & Deci, E. L. (2004). Testing a self-determination theory process model for promoting glycemic control through diabetes self-management. Health Psychology, 23, 58-66.

Courses Taught:

  • Human Motivation and Emotion
  • Humanistic Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology and Personality
  • Training Group in Gestalt Therapy

Edward L. Deci
Department of Psychology
355 Meliora Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 14627-0266
United States of America

  • Phone: (585) 275-2461
  • Fax: (585) 273-1100

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