A personal blog.

Why We Do What We Do by Edward Deci

In his excellent book Why We Do What We Do, based on empirical research, Edward Deci shows that intrinsic motivation is much more effective than extrinsic motivation. Contrary to the behaviorist dogma, self-motivation underlies successful learning, creativity, responsibility, healthy behavior, and long-lasting change. It comes from innate psychological needs. The first need is for autonomy, that is, the need to feel that you are the author of your actions. The second is for competence, striving to be effective in the world around us. The third need, for relatedness with other people, facilitates the integration of external values and makes us take necessary actions required by society. Of all the needs, autonomy is the cornerstone. That's because there is a strong connection between autonomy and responsibility and between autonomy and intrinsic motivation. Therefore, the author describes how to promote and support autonomy in others. He also suggests what people can do when they find themselves in an environment where there is a lot of external control.


Mindmap of the book published on XMIND

The entire mindmap is published here.

Further Reading

  • Barry Schwartz. The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality and Modern Life.
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.
  • Erich Fromm. The Art of Loving.
  • Ayn Rand. The Virtue of Selfishness.
  • Ayn Rand. The Fountainhead.
  • Jaun-Paul Sartre. Existensialism and Human Emotions.