Touching the Void: Moitivational Theories

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Touching the Void is an inspiring story about the power of the human will. To my surprise, the film left me emotionally spent as it touched on the issues of friendship, mortality and survival. I am sure many of my classmates will agree that it is an amazing story. But, for me, the thing that makes it truly inspirational is the way that Joe never gave up. In this brief paper I intend to show how Self Determination and Goal Setting theory influenced Joe’s inspiring story of survival. Self Determination Theory

Self-Determination Theory draws from the research that people are inherently active organisms that strive for positive interactions with the environment (Class Lecture, February 3rd 2011). The theory suggests that people have three psychological needs that must be satisfied to initiate and regulate everyday behaviour. In addition, the theory also specifies that satisfaction of these needs also enhances intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985b, as cited in Reeve 2008). Intrinsic motivation is self-directed process which leads to more interest based behaviour rather than behaviour based on external rewards (Deci & Ryan, 1985b, as cited in Reeve 2008). The first psychological need is to feel a sense of autonomy in performing an activity. Autonomous behaviour involves having an internal locus of control and freedom to determine own behaviour. Autonomy is increased by having a choice, flexibility and opportunities for self direction (Reeve & Jang, 2006, as cited in Reeve 2008). The second need is having a sense of relatedness. This can be achieved by having close relationships with people who care about you (Baumeister & Leary, 1995, as cited in Reeve 2008). The third fundamental need is to perceive competence in relation to an activity. Competence is increased by engaging in activities that facilate optimal challenge and provides effective feedback (Deci & Ryan, 1985b, as cited in Reeve 2008). Self Determination theory provides us with a very applicable...
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