Determination is a positive emotion that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles. Determination occurs prior to goal attainment and serves to motivate behavior that will help achieve one’s goal. Empirical research suggests that people consider determination to be an emotion; in other words, determination is not just a cognitive state, but rather an affective state. In the psychology literature, researchers have studied determination under other terms, including challenge and anticipatory enthusiasm; this may explain one reason for the relative lack of research on determination compared to other positive emotions. In the field of psychology, emotion research is heavily focused on negative emotions and the action tendencies that they encourage. However, recent work in positive psychology incorporates the study of determination as a positive emotion that pushes individuals toward action and results in important outcomes such as perseverance and the development of coping mechanisms.
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a theory of motivation. SDT focuses on the interplay between individual personalities and experiences in social contexts that results in motivations of the autonomous and controlled kind. Ultimately, social environments seem to have a profound effect on both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and self-regulation. More specifically, self-determination theory proposes that social and cultural factors influence an individual’s sense of personal volition and initiative in regards to goals, performance and well-being. High levels of determination and personal volition are supported by conditions that foster autonomy (e.g., individual has multiple options/choices), competence (e.g., positive feedback) and relatedness (e.g., stable connection to the group an individual is working within). Bio-psychosocial model
Emotions researchers continue to search for specific...
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