Central to self-determination theory
is the concept of basic psychological needs that are assumed to the innate and universal. According to the theory‚ these needs--the needs for competence‚ autonomy‚ and relatedness--must be ongoingly satisfied for people to develop and function in healthy or optimal ways (Deci & Ryan‚ 2000).
Many of the propositions of SDT derive from the postulate of fundamental psychological needs‚ and the concept has proven essential for making meaningful interpretations of a wide range of empirically isolated phenomena.
The Basic Psychological Needs Scale is a family of scales: one that addresses need satisfaction in general in one’s life‚ and others that address need satisfaction in specific domains. He we include the work domain and the interpersonal relations domain. The original scale had 21 items concerning the three needs for competence‚
autonomy‚ and relatedness. Some studies have worked with only 9 items‚ namely‚ 3 items per subscale. Here‚ the general and the work versions of the scale have 21 items‚ whereas the interpersonal relations version has 9 items.
The Basic Need Satisfaction at Work Scale has been used most often (Deci‚ Ryan‚ Gagné‚ Leone‚ Usunov‚ & Kornazheva‚ 2001; Ilardi‚ Leone‚ Kasser‚ & Ryan‚ 1993; Kasser‚ Davey‚ & Ryan‚ 1992). The Basic Need Satisfaction in Relationships Scale was used in (La Guardia‚ Ryan‚ Couchman‚ & Deci‚ 2000). The Basic Need
Satisfaction in Life Scale is currently being researched.
Deci‚ E. L.‚ & Ryan‚ R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the selfdetermination 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‚ in press.
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‚
Ilardi‚ B. C.‚ Leone‚ D.‚ Kasser‚ R.‚ & Ryan‚ R. M. (1993). Employee and supervisor ratings of motivation: Main effects and discrepancies associated with job satisfaction and adjustment in a factory setting. Journal of Applied Social Psychology‚ 23‚ 1789-1805.
Kasser‚ T.‚ Davey‚ J.‚ & Ryan‚ R. M. (1992). Motivation‚ dependability‚ and employee-supervisor discrepancies in psychiatric vocational rehabilitation settings. Rehabilitation Psychology‚ 37‚ 175-187.
Basic Need Satisfaction in General
Feelings I Have
Please read each of the following items carefully‚ thinking about how it relates to your life‚ and then indicate how true it is for you. Use the following scale to respond:
not at all
1. I feel like I am free to decide for myself how to live my life.
2. I really like the people I interact with.
3. Often‚ I do not feel very competent.
4. I feel pressured in my life.
5. People I know tell me I am good at what I do.
6. I get along with people I come into contact with.
7. I pretty much keep to myself and don’t have a lot of social contacts.
8. I generally feel free to express my ideas and opinions.
9. I consider the people I regularly interact with to be my friends.
10. I have been able to learn interesting new skills recently.
11. In my daily life‚ I frequently have to do what I am told.
12. People in my life care about me.
13. Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from what I do.
14. People I interact with on a daily basis tend to take my feelings into consideration.
15. In my life I do not get much of a chance to show how capable I am.
16. There are not many people that I am close to.
17. I feel like I can pretty much be myself in my daily situations.
18. The people I interact with regularly do not seem to like me much.
19. I often do not feel very capable.
20. There is not much opportunity for me to decide for myself how to do things in my daily life.
21. People are generally pretty friendly towards me.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Basic Need Satisfaction at Work
When I Am At Work
The following questions concern your feelings about your job during the last year. (If you have been on this job for less than a year‚ this concerns the entire time you have been at this job.) Please indicate how true each of the following statement is for you given your experiences on this job. Remember that your boss will never know
how you responded to the questions. Please use the following scale in responding to the items.
not at all
1. I feel like I can make a lot of inputs to deciding how my job gets done.
2. I really like the people I work with.
3. I do not feel very competent when I am at work.
4. People at work tell me I am good at what I do.
5. I feel pressured at work.
6. I get along with people at work.
7. I pretty much keep to myself when I am at work.
8. I am free to express my ideas and opinions on the job.
9. I consider the people I work with to be my friends.
10. I have been able to learn interesting new skills on my job.
11. When I am at work‚ I have to do what I am told.
12. Most days I feel a sense of accomplishment from working.
13. My feelings are taken into consideration at work.
14. On my job I do not get much of a chance to show how capable I am.
15. People at work care about me.
16. There are not many people at work that I am close to.
17. I feel like I can pretty much be myself at work.
18. The people I work with do not seem to like me much.
19. When I am working I often do not feel very capable.
20. There is not much opportunity for me to decide for myself how to go about my work.
21. People at work are pretty friendly towards me.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Basic Need Satisfaction in Relationships
Note: This questionnaire was designed for use with respect to need satisfaction in particular relationships. For example‚ it is to assess the degree to which a person experiences basic need satisfaction while relating to his or her spouse‚ or best friend‚ or mother‚ or children‚ or whomever. So‚ to use the questionnaire to assess need satisfaction in a relationship‚ replace the XXXXXXX with the relationship you are studying. Although we have never done so‚ you could try using it for relationships in general if that is the question that interests you.
In My Relationships
Please respond to each statement by indicating how true it is for you. Use the following scale.
not at all
1. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel free to be who I am.
2. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel like a competent person.
3. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel loved and cared about.
4. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I often feel inadequate or incompetent.
5. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I have a say in what happens‚ and I can voice my opinion.
6. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I often feel a lot of distance in our relationship.
7. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel very capable and effective.
8. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel a lot of closeness and intimacy.
9. When I am with XXXXXXX‚ I feel controlled and pressured to be certain ways.
Theoretical Note. There is something almost tautological about the statement that satisfying one’s need for relatedness in an interpersonal relationship with‚ say‚ your best friend would predict the quality of that relationship. Indeed‚ as would be expected‚ research has shown a strong relation between degree of satisfaction
of the relatedness need in a particular relationship and the security of attachment and the quality of relationship with that partner (La Guardia‚ Ryan‚ Couchman‚ & Deci‚ 2000). However‚ the more interesting point is that security of attachment and the quality of relationships with particular partners is also predicted by the degree to which one experiences satisfaction of the need for autonomy and the need for competence within those partners.
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.