Ch 6 Psychological Needs


Read chapter 6. Summarize the chapter. What was the most surprising thing you learned? If you had to rate yourself as high, medium, low, on the various psychological needs, what would those ratings be? How do those various levels manifest themselves in your life? Choose one psychological need and discuss how it motivates some of your specific behaviors.

If you had to make a guess, what's the deal with the fish picture? How does it relate to this chapter?

Provide a list of terms at the end of your post that you used from the chapter. 500 words


This chapter was all about psychological needs and how those relate to our desire to do certain things. The three psychological needs discussed in this chapter are known as organismic needs because it focuses on the idea that the environment is constantly changing and that we as humans must have the ability to adapt and accommodate these changes. The three needs broken down are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. It also focused on the concept of autonomy-supportive and controlled motivating styles. These two styles can play a huge role in how people react to different tasks.
For me the most surprising thing was just how much the type of motivating style can affect a person’s motivation towards a task. Autonomy-supportive style is a person’s willingness to take the other’s perspective and to value personal growth opportunities during the activity. A controlled style is that one person pressures the other toward a prescribed outcome and uses social influence techniques to achieve that targeted socialization outcome. I did know that there was a difference in how a person could be motivated and that some ways could make them become less motivated for me. I enjoyed learning how the different types of styles cause a person to act though. I was able to relate to both of the styles in my life quite easily because I have encountered both types of people. In high school, I had a basketball coach who was less than encouraging. He was the first person I thought of when it came to the controlled style. He was very picky about how things were done and was quick to say it was our fault for not trying hard enough when something went wrong. He fits all of the characteristics of a person that follows the controlled motivating style. My guidance counselor in high school was the complete opposite. I had a very big dream of going to Baylor University for college. Many people around me would laugh at the idea because I was from small town Iowa and going far away was something that nobody really ever did; you either went to community college, stayed home and worked, or went to one of the state universities. Nobody believed that I would ever get in except for my counselor. He was very good about nurturing my interests, motivating me to keep on track to make it happen, and even helping me with an awesome letter of recommendation. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have continued that dream and would have never been accepted (although I transferred after my freshman year).
I will first start with autonomy and how I feel I rate on that scale. Autonomy is the need to experience self-direction and person endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one’s behavior. When it comes to this I would say I have a medium rating. I understand why I do many of the tasks I do but sometimes there are some I don’t understand why I ever did them. One of these was pursuing a degree in teaching. I never really had a passion for it so I can’t explain why I ever did it, but if you ask me why I’m pursuing a psychology degree I can talk about it with your for hours.
The next one is competence. Competence is the need to be effective in interactions with the environment, and it reflects the desire to exercise one’s capacities and skills, and in doing so, to seek out and master optimal challenges. I would say I have a high competence. I love learning new skills and once I have mastered them I love continuing to do them in order to get better. An example of this is when I took up knitting. I was terrible at first and all my creations would end up with holes where I had missed stitches. After lots of practice I was finally able to knit an entire scarf with out any holes and have since gotten better.
The final one is relatedness; which is the need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people, and it reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to and interpersonally involved in warm relationships. I would say I am low on this one in the sense that I don’t have a lot of close relationships with people. I struggle with this because I am a shy person and that sometimes comes off as rude or antisocial to people when in reality I just need time to get to know them.
Competence plays a key role in many aspects of my life. It gives me the motivation to work on my skills and get better at them because I do not want to fail. When it comes to school, it pushes me to get good grades because if I don’t I feel as though I have failed. When I do well on a test I feel as though I have gained the knowledge and can continue to build on it and that it will help me in my future. It also plays a role in my working out at the gym. Say I start using 10-pound dumbbells and doing 8 reps and it is difficult, I continue to do it and eventually it becomes easier I can move up in weight. For me it is as if I have mastered this and am moving on to the next level.
I would say the fish jumping out of the bowl signifies it leaving its comfort zone in order to expand and better itself. It has lived in the bowl (safe zone) for so long that it has been stuck in the same spot and not able to grow in any sense. By leaving the bowl it is able to grow as a fish by improving skills, meeting friends to improve relatedness, and improving and skills previously mastered.

Controlling motivating style
Autonomy-supportive style
Psychological needs
Organismic needs

Jon Lutz - section 01

The chapter begins with characterizing psychology need, and differentiating between the organismic approach and mechanistic. The former being the advantage an organism gains with flexibility within its environment. The latter is more direct cause and effect between environment and an organism's behavior i.e. heat→ sweat→ thirst → water seeking. Next Reeve presents the three aspect of psychological need: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
Autonomy places a large emphasis on perception of self direction, while interacting with external factors, limiting or supporting. The text positively correlates effective intrinsic motivation and autonomy. As we see with the other aspects, techniques supporting autonomy are elaborated. Nurturing inner motivational resources, use of information based language, logically explained “because statements,” and productive processing of resistance are all ways to increase autonomy. I would consider myself a medium rating for autonomy. My schedule is strongly controlled by class, work, study, and boyfriend responsibilities. Though my professors, boss, and girlfriend all make noticeable efforts to maximize my agency. I would say the limiting factors are healthy at worst. Perhaps the most concerning restriction on my autonomy is my financial situation. Too often I pass up pleasurable opportunities because I simply can’t afford them. At an earlier less productive stage of my life, monetary concerns were my only motivations for attending college, and my performance reflected it.
Competence is the positive feeling associated with successfully meeting an optimal challenge. Concentration, involvement, and enjoyment all manifest when a person achieves a “flow state,” complete absorption and involvement in one’s current task. Performance feedback, clear guidance, and failure facilitating contexts are all supportive of competence. I would rate myself high in competence. Earlier in my life I found sports optimally challenging and now in the age of youtube tutorials it has never been easier to engage in optimally challenging behavior. I am currently learning the guitar, drawing, and developing an original board game. I am early enough in these endeavours that novelty is caring me a long way, but someday I entend to get feedback. I seem to get enough from my quality of turned in assignments from school.
Relatedness is the desire not only to associate with others, but the desire for them to want to associate with us. The text describes communal relationships as warm, caring, and with genuine mutual concern. It also warns against exchange relationships, which are held together only by the gain of resources, material or otherwise. I would consider relatedness to be my lowest trait. I have always had an easy enough time forming personal relationships, which has kept me afloat. Yet, I have failed to cultivate identity within a larger group. I recall the emotion I felt while apart of athletic teams, student councils, or FFA. I will never forget the intensity of being apart of a group. On the other hand I think tribalism is one of the greatest sources of suffering in the world, so I’ll find away to get over it.
The fish in the picture is clearly motivated by psychological need to escape the fishbowl. There is no challenging activity to make the fish feel competent and no feedback to help develop its skill. The fishbowl provide minimal autonomy. The fish can only swim in the space given, only eat when fed, and the water is only as clean as his master wishes to keep it. Also the fish is deprived any sense of relatedness. There are no other fish in the bowl and nothing else the fish could even abstractly identify with. It is no wonder the fish would choose certain death, flopping helplessly on carpet, that is if fish have psychological needs as humans do.

Psychological need
Organismic approach
Mechanistic approach
Flow state
Communal/exchange relationships
Authentic self

In summary, chapter 6 is about the psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Compared to the physiological deficiency oriented needs of the previous chapters, these three of the needs are understood as proactive growth needs that contribute to the optimal human functioning. These psychological needs provide benefits such as improved learning and well-being. These needs are also related directly to our environment. The relationship between our psychological needs and environment is explained using the organismic approach, where the environment changes and we change to fit our environment. Our relation to our environment is a two-way street between organism and environmental influences (person-environment dialectic). This contrasts the one-way or mechanistic approach of physiological deficiencies and need fulfillment, setting us up for a life that more exciting than just surviving. Our psychological needs describe why we seek challenges, develop self-direction, and get involved.
The most surprising thing I read in this chapter was over the conundrum of choice. I think it is interesting how providing options can still be controlling and lead to a lowered sense of autonomy. For example, asking a friend “do you want to listen to music?” would be autonomy supportive; your friend has a great deal of input and control. But asking them “do you want to listen to Queen or The Beatles?” puts pressure on their input, limits control, and may neglect their preference (classical music, perhaps).
I also thought it was surprising that students learn better when the teacher lectured on topics that are of interest of them because it supports autonomy. I was wondering why so few teachers I have had survey their classes to see what topics they would like to cover and tailor the class, to some degree, to what their students are interested in.
I would give myself the following ratings for need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness (out of 10). Autonomy = 9. Competence = 7. Relatedness = 7.
My high need for autonomy manifests itself in my critical edge against authority and the status-quo, especially when it’s overly controlling, also feeling down and guilty when I am not doing things that interest me, especially when I have a boring job.
My moderately high need for competence manifests in my persistent effort to improve in my hobbies such as playing musical instruments and rock climbing, always trying to get better. It also manifests itself in my pursuit of higher education and wanting to well in a professional job in psychology. Furthermore, it also manifests at work. As a writing coach, I am always trying to push myself to do better than before and see more success.
My moderately high need for relatedness manifest itself in maintaining few intimate personal relationships (partner, friends) and inclusion in a spiritual community. I can relate to what the book says when it says quality over quantity matters the most in terms of relatedness.
My high need for autonomy influences my behavior. The behavior I find most interesting in my work behavior, mainly the job choice and the work itself. I do not do well in employment settings with work that is highly controlled, repetitive, not challenging, not utilizing my skills, and/or has low significance. When I have had job like this (i.e. dishwasher, cashier) I get emotionally drained very quickly and want to quit after the first couple months. I feel a desire for more freedom, challenge, and significance. Luckily, I have found better work. At my current job in the Writing Center, I have my psychological needs met and feel autonomous. What is even cooler is that the goal of the coaching we do is to also make students/writers feel more autonomous (as well as competent and supported). Therefore, not only do I get my needs met, but I also get to help others meet these needs. In essence, I have the pleasure of being in a supportive environment and get to sustain it for the benefit of others.

Psychological needs
Organismic approach
Mechanistic approach
Person-environment dialectic
Optimal functioning

Chapter six is all about our psychological needs. Whereas physiological needs were more reactive, psychological needs are more proactive. Psychological needs focus on three main areas: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These are each influenced by internal and environments events. We act on events based on intrinsic motivations and the environment will offer some sort of feedback or vice-versa. When we experience all three psychological needs, we feel alive and energized.

The first of the three psychological needs is autonomy, which is basically a freedom of our own choice. We like to make our own choices and flexibility within those choices. Perceived locus of causality (PLOC) is one quality of autonomy that can affect our experiences. If we are aware of our PLOC, we are aware of where the motivation is coming from (internal or environmental). Another quality is volition, which is how voluntarily we engage in actions. We have high volition when we take part in an activity that we really want to do rather than being forced to do. The last quality is perceived choice. This is when our environment offers us choices that we can make and from that choice, more opportunities arise. However, when given restricted choices, we often do not experience autonomy compared to when we are given true choice. When people motivate others with an autonomy-supportive, other people’s inner motivations are nurtured. When people are more controlling, other people tend to have the opposite affect.

Competence is the next psychological need. Competence is the need to be challenged and use our skills to overcome those challenges. When we have the perfect amount of challenge that matches our skill, we experience flow. However, too little of challenge can be boring and too much can be too anxiety-provoking. When we fail, we build a failure tolerance, and many believe that people learn more from failure than from success. Whether we fail or succeed, we need feedback otherwise we do not know whether we are being challenged or not.

Relatedness is the third psychological need. We are social people and because of that we have many relationships. We make friends by interacting with people within proximity and then decide whether or not we truly care for that person and want them in our lives. Two types of relationships exist which are exchange and communal. Exchange relationships are merely two or more people who have no other relationship outside of business. Communal relationships are people who are interested in the other person’s life and wellbeing and checks up on them and their needs. The relatedness need is only satisfied by communal relationships.

Something that really surprised me was the conundrum of choice. I would have thought that by still have a couple of choices would give someone at least a little bit of autonomy because they get to choose something over another. I often think about allowing children to choose what they want for dinner but instead of just asking what they want, a parent gives them a couple options that are healthier and the child gets to choose. I feel like by allowing the child to make the choice, they would still have some sense of autonomy but maybe not.

In my personal life, I feel like my autonomy level is medium. I have a lot of free choices that I can make on a daily basis like what to eat for dinner or what activities I want to do, but I am also a little restricted because I have assignments to do that I have no choice in. I feel like my competence level is high because I am constantly challenging myself everyday. I play many puzzles throughout the day to stay busy and really like to move onto the next challenge right away. My relatedness level is also high. I am constantly checking up on my siblings and their children to see how they’re doing back home and also asking how my friends abroad are doing and adapting to their new lifestyle. I am also always checking on my friends here and spending as much time with them as I can.

Competence is one psychological need that really influences my behavior. I am always trying to better myself by doing puzzles or playing games that make me test my skills. I really like playing video games like Mario, so I go through each level and beat it and get everything before I can move onto the next level. Sometimes though, I get really frustrated because I can’t seem to beat a certain level or something, so I take a break for a day or so and then come back, and I can finally pass the level. I think sometimes it’s not just that the level is too difficult, but we just need a break to let our brains can just relax and once we come back to the challenge, we can overcome it.

If I had to make a guess on this fish picture, I would guess that this fish was given true choice. Does it really want to be in the bowl or would it rather be in the ocean somewhere, and I would guess that the fish chose not to be in a tightly confined bowl but chose the sea and satisfied its psychological need of autonomy.


Chapter 6 covers the psychological needs that were introduced back in Chapter 5 in the discussion of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It went more into the theoretical origins of the approach involving autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the Organismic Approach. This approach focuses on how environmental interaction dictates psychological need satisfaction/motivation for psychological need satisfaction. The chapter then dove more into the details of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, touching on how they become involved in an environment, how an environment can support them, and the benefits of having them supported. After this, it brought them all together and tied them in with social context and engagement. Finally, the chapter explains psychologically what makes a “good day” versus a “bad day” and how we subjectively experience it through the feeling of vitality.

The most surprising thing that I took away from this chapter had to do with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s research into optimal challenge and the flow experience. Optimal challenge is the perfect state for engaging, involving, and satisfying the psychological need of competence, as it blends the best combination of challenge given and skill required. While that was rather self-explanatory, I loved reading about the experience of flow. “Flow” is defined as the state of concentration where you become wholly focused on the completion of the activity/challenge. I had experienced this state before, as everyone should have at this point in their lives, but I had no idea that psychology had an actual term for it. It’s why musicals and plays that I took part in seemed to breeze by even though the run-time for the shows would be upward of two weeks. My skill level and challenge met in the perfect position (high challenge, high skill) where my focus fled other areas like time and daydreaming and focused purely on the show. My attention would return upon the show’s completion, and it would feel as though the entire two-hour runtime had gone by in an instant. However, I’ve also had experience with the bad aspects of Skill vs. Challenge. I have been in areas where I feel I have low skill and encompasses high challenge (IE: Hanging out with my fitness-savvy friends at the gym.) and I have most definitely been in areas where I have very high skill and was essentially never challenged (IE: Due to a schedule mix-up, I was placed in introductory instead of AP psychology back in high school). These situations brought me worry/anxiety and extreme boredom respectively, and it helped me realize that I am, like most people, motivated to find that flow again.

Moving on, my self-rating is likely going to be pessimistic, as I am a delightfully pessimistic person. As far as autonomy goes, I believe I am a medium level. While I enjoy having the freedom of choice as much as anybody else, I absolutely loathe to make decisions. I feel immense pressure and fear social scorn if I make a poor choice, so I usually just go with whatever the group’s most popular choice is. For competence, I place myself at the low level. I like to think that I am a decently intelligent guy, but my self-confidence is shatteringly low. Every paper I type, and every assignment I submit, I become a bundle of nerves going over every possible aspect of the paper that I could have gotten wrong. And on large projects/assignments, I lose sleep after turning them in due to sheer fear that I missed one key aspect. Essentially, I am a competent person cursed with an incompetent cognition process. Finally, my relatedness I would rate also as low. Though I enjoy hanging out with friends all the time, I have extreme trouble with the “true self” showing that the book describes as necessary for the satisfaction of the need. There are only about one or two people from my life that have glimpsed the cracks in my many facades I place to shelter myself from the world, and I don’t think I ever truly opened to them. I have a strong urge to open up to others, and I do feel that crippling loneliness that the book says comes with the lack of intimate relationships, but I also hold a strong fear of what rejection may come with opening up. You might be saying now: “But Max, you’re being awfully open about it now considering you’re posting this for the entire class to read.” To which I must reply that this is the internet and confessing online is much easier than confessing in person. That and I do not know how many people read my blog posts, as they are horridly long, and I apologize to the TA’s for making them go through them every week.

I believe competence would be the best one of the needs to focus on, considering it pertains to my school work, and that is what my life essentially revolves around. As stated before, I am a competent man born with an incompetent cognition. This means that this cognitive mindset does not allow me to feel that psychological pleasure that comes with satisfied competence. As a relevant example, this blog post. I have been going over this thing for the past weekend, editing and adding things. I’m typing this current sentence the Monday before the due date, and who knows how many times I’ll add and subtract sentences that upon closer inspection don’t make sense. When I begin the assignment, my life essentially locks on to it, and while some may describe this as the “Flow,” it does not have the pleasurable experience as described by the book. In fact, the reaction my body takes is the same as the “High Challenge, Low Skill” anxiety reaction (From the Flow Model – Pg. 156). Even though I do well on these assignments, my brain still sets a cognition of incompetence, and so my life is negatively affected by it.

Finally, the fishbowl. I believe that this picture is a metaphor for the importance of psychological needs in comparison with physiological ones. The fish requires water to survive, as that is the only place where it can safely breathe and not asphyxiate. However, leaping from the bowl, the physiological need satisfaction, shows that the fish is striving for something more. Just like we humans have evolved beyond eating, drinking, relieving ourselves, and sleeping to form complex interwoven societies, the fish is striving for something beyond it’s basic biological needs. While I am not sure that a fish holds such complex cognitive needs as autonomy, competence, and relatedness, it’s actions in this picture show that the world, especially the human world, goes beyond simply satisfying biological needs. We have goals and aspirations beyond hamburgers and fries, we want to challenge ourselves. We want to get educated, get better paychecks, get better jobs, lead a successful life. We’re not content to sit in our own fishbowl, our own little hellish “paradise” that only fulfills our most basic drives.

Terms Used:
Physiological Needs – Pg. 80
Psychological Needs – Pg. 142
Organismic Approach – Pg. 143
Autonomy – Pg. 145
Competence – Pg. 154
Optimal Challenge – Pg. 155
Flow – Pg. 155
Relatedness – Pg. 161
Engagement – Pg. 165
Vitality – Pg. 168

The three psychological needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness can be impacted by internal and environmental events. These needs rely on the organismic approach to motivation. As organisms, we are interested in an activity when it satisfies our psychological needs. Energy that is generated by psychological needs is proactive whereas physiological needs are reactive.
I was surprised to learn how much feedback matters when it comes to competency. The book states that people do not experience challenge until they start to perform and receive feedback. Although this was surprising, it did make sense because feedback can either encourage someone to keep being persistent in an activity, or feedback could give advice on how to be better at the activity, which would eventually build competency either way.
I would say I have a medium to high rating to the psychological needs. I think in college people receive a lot more responsibility for themselves. I have full control of my schedule and have freedom to go or not go to my classes. Personally, I am intrinsically motivated to go to class, but others have no motivation to attend class at all, which is their choice. I would say I have high autonomy over most parts of my life right now. I also have high relatedness because I have many close emotional bonds with others. My friends, family, and I look out for each other’s needs and help each other grow in different ways. I spend social time with my friends usually every night and spend time with my family on the weekends. I think I have medium competence because I am not confident in a lot of things that I do. One aspect in my life where I feel I have high competency would be academics since I am graduating early for my age. An aspect in my life where I feel I have medium competency would be athletics. Although I like working out, I am not very good at most sports, and if I am good at a sport, it is usually luck. One way I could increase my competence in sports would be to pick a sport and practice persistently.
Relatedness motivates many of my behaviors because I am constantly thinking about people that I have bonds with when I do anything and how something I do could impact them. One specific behavior that I am motivated to do because of relatedness would be to go home on the weekends to spend time with my family. Every Sunday, my dad and I get brunch together to talk about the upcoming week and our experiences of the last week. This helps our bond grow and makes us feel connected to each other by more than blood. Another behavior I do because of relatedness would be spending time and getting dinner with my friends most nights. My friends help me take my mind off of school for a little bit. My friends can motivate me to do certain activities I probably would not do on my own. For example, I get a lot of my homework done during the day while my friends usually wait until the evening to do homework. Sometimes they motivate me to do more homework while spending time with them, which can be nice if I am confused on a concept because someone else may be able to explain it to me.
I think the picture of the fish jumping out of its bowl is especially showing the lack of competence as well as the lack of autonomy and relatedness. The fish is lacking competence because there are no optimal challenges within the fishbowl, causing the fish to ineffectively interact with its environment. The fish would rather die exploring outside of the bowl than feeling incompetent and unsatisfied within the fishbowl. There is a lack of autonomy in the fishbowl too because the fish has no choices in the fishbowl. The fish cannot experience self-direction and probably feels trapped with no freedom within the bowl. There is also only one fish in the bowl, causing a lack of relatedness. There is no one in near the fish for it to establish a close emotional bond with.
Autonomy, competence, relatedness, organismic approach, feedback, intrinsically motivated, persistence.

In Understanding Motivation and Emotion Chapter 6 entitled Psychological Needs is a chapter that is completely focused on psychological needs and why we as human beings desire to do things in our everyday lives. The three psychological needs discussed in this chapter are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In chapter six the author talked about autonomy, competence, and relatedness in depth and what components make up each of these psychological needs.
The most surprising thing I learned about was Relatedness. According to the text relatedness is that need that everyone needs to belong and establish emotional bonds/attachments with others and it reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to interpersonal relationships and forming bonds. I never really thought that there was this need to belong. While I believe people can want friendships and stuff you can still not belong in cliques and such. But maybe that want for friendships is that need to belong with others. I think relatedness can be a very in depth topic when talking about relationships, friendships, etc. that's why I picked it as the most surprising thing I learned about in Chapter six.
If I  had to rate myself  as high, medium, low, on the various psychological needs, autonomy would be high, competence would be medium, and relatedness would be low. I would rate autonomy high because this psychological need has to do with the freedom to make choices and regulate our behaviors with these decisions. Without the ability to make decisions for myself I would find myself very miserable and not in the life I am in now. This psychological need manifests itself in my life because if I didn’t have the choice to make decisions for myself, my parents would make me move back home after graduation, marry a man, and follow all gender roles that the proper “wife” should do. By having the choice to be autonomous I am able to be myself as a non binary individual, marry my best friend/ partner, and live where I would like to after graduation. I would rate competence medium because this psychological need has to do with interacting effectively with your surroundings and being skillful in life. While I think interacting with my environment and others around me is important, I wouldn’t rate it the highest of psychological needs that need to be met in my life. I could apply competence in my life that in some skills such as people skills, working retail, and leadership skills are things that I learn rather quickly and like to maintain. While other things such as cleaning, learning in some classes, etc I wouldn’t mind not having to do those things.  I would rate relatedness low because this psychological need has to do with fitting in. I think this one is the lowest because I don't really feel the need to fit into society or with anyone. I have a handful of really close friends and I am content with that. I only have one best friend and I am marrying them so if I was just to have them as my friend and partner I would be okay with that. I use to find relatedness to be very high in my life but I have had one too many bad friendships to find that as an important psychological need.
Autonomy plays a key psychological role in my life. Autonomy is the ability to make choices in our lives. Autonomy has the biggest motivation towards my behaviors because ultimately it gives me the choice of right and wrong when faced with situations. By having this choice to make decisions I can learn some lessons which will help my overall competence or I can have safe fun times and make friends while doing it which increases my relatedness. Autonomy I find is over all is an influencing component that influences everything you do because in life you are faced with all sorts of choices that lead to how we interact with our environment and how we make friends.
    The fish was in its comfort zone of the fish bowl and that area seemed to get boring and none of its psychological needs were getting met. So the fish decided to make the autonomous decision of getting outside of its comfort zone. If  the fish stayed in the fish bowl it wasn’t going to expand its knowledge of other environments outside of the fish bowl (competence)  and it would have been alone leaving its need for relatedness not ever met. Who knows maybe taking that leap of faith that fish may end up meeting fellow fish friends.
Psychological Needs
Comfort zone

Chapter 6 talks about the idea of psychological needs: what they are, how we satisfy them, and why we satisfy them. Psychological needs are considered to be growth needs. There were three main organismic needs that were explained and talked about in the text. These were autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The chapter explained the benefit of fulfilling these and talks about how everyone’s needs may be different.
The most surprising thing that I learned was about the conundrum of choice. As a psych major who is also heavily involved in organizational and industrial psych, we have been taught that autonomy is one of the strongest suggesters of happiness in the workplace. Along with that, we know that autonomy is strongly linked to happiness in general. The conundrum of choice makes an argument that autonomy gained from making a choice given to you by someone else is lesser than autonomy gained by making your own choices. This is interesting to me because at work, almost all of your choices that get presented to you are through the employer or your boss. If that is the case, we would achieve less autonomy and we would be less happy in our jobs. It is different that what I have learned in the past.
I am high on all three of the psychological needs. If I were to score them on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, I was state that my need for autonomy is 5, competence is 4, and relatedness is 4. I need to be in control of my life. When I am not in control, I become very anxious and if it happens long enough, slightly depressed. The book states that autonomy is when we allow our interests, preferences, and wants to guide our behavior. I have ensured that I have had the most autonomy possible over the last few years of college. I have thankfully be financially stable enough where I haven’t had to work unless I wanted to. This has allowed me to work jobs that I have wanted to do, instead of had to do. This is resulted in me still having that sense of autonomy even through work. While less than autonomy, I very much feel the need to be competent and feel a sense of relatedness. When I am not competent at something, I feel less worthy. It bothers me that others are doing something well and I am not so I usually work on improving. In regards to relatedness, I have always looked for companionship. It could be through friendship or a girlfriend, but I have always been looking to build close relationships with people. When those relationships are gone, or I am not able to spend time with people even though I would like to, it is pretty hard on me and my level of happiness goes downward as a result.
As I brought up during the last paragraph, autonomy has done the most impacting on my behavior. I try to leave myself with a choice with almost everything that I do and when I don’t have a choice, I am less happy. For example, when I am asked to do multiple things at the same time as each other, I may be non-committal to both but try to leave the door open so when the time comes, I can actually choose which one I would prefer to do and ensure that I am making the choice that best suites my needs at the time.
The fish jumping out of the bowl relates to this chapter through autonomy in my opinion. The fish had no choice whether or not to be placed in that bowl and once it was in the bowl, it had very little choice of its behavior. The fish was not meeting its psychological needs and decided it needed to take action in order to try and meet them. The fish may or may not have understood that leaving the bowl may lead to its death, but it made one of the few decisions that would be truly its own. The fish jumped out of the bowl and increased its sense of autonomy.

Organismic Psychological Needs
Conundrum of Choice

This whole chapter is, of course, about psychological needs. When an activity involves our psychological needs, and satisfies them, we feel interest and enjoyment. Psychological needs are an important addition to our analysis of motivated behavior. Psychological needs promote a willingness to seek out and to engage in an environment that we expect will be able to nurture out psychological needs.
Something that I found surprising and very interesting was that psychological needs are also referred to as organismic psychological needs. Organismic theories of motivation acknowledge that environments constantly change and organisms needs flexibility to adjust to and accommodate those changes. To adapt, organisms must learn to substitute a new response for a previously successful but now outdate now and organisms must grow and develop so that new skills, new interests, and new ways of adjusting emerge. With that, the relationship between a person and the environment is reciprocal; the environment acts on the person and the person acts on the environment. The person and the environment are constantly changing! A person’s needs are fulfilled by the environment, and the environment produces in the person new forms of motivation.
Autonomy is basically we want to decide how we spend our own time. I would say that I have a pretty high autonomy at this point in my life. There are three qualities that work together to define the subjective experience of autonomy-an internal perceived locus of causality, volition, and perceived choice. These three things manifest themselves in my life everyday. Perceived locus of causality refers to an individual’s understanding of the causal source of their motivated actions. For myself, I have a lot of goals when it comes to academics so I have certain expectations for myself that drive me to get certain grades and complete my work at a certain time and with a certain level of effort. Volition is the unpressured willingness to engage in an activity. This would revolve more around the handful of puzzles that I do each month or deciding that I want to go and tan on a certain day. Perceived choice refers to the sense of choice we experience when we find ourselves in environments that provide us with decision-making flexibility that affords us many opportunities from which to choose. This would simply focus on every decision that I make daily. Autonomy plays a big role it my motivation and behavior toward school work. I try to get a GPA of 3.0 or above so I can make the dean’s list every semester. Doing this will give me a better chance of getting into grad school in the future. Anything below a B is not tolerable for me, so I work hard and study to try and get straight A’s, but a B every now and then is okay for me. But nothing below that.
Competence is the psychological needs to be effective in interactions with the environment, and it reflects the desire to exercise one’s capacities and skills and, in doing so, to seek out and master optimal challenges. I challenge myself with some of the classes that I take. I try to not just take the simple ones because I am always wanting to learn more in my major. Like I mentioned above, I also have high expectations for my grades so I need to competent in order to achieve those goals. I would say that my competence is also high at this point in my life. Relatedness is the psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people, and it reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to and interpersonally involved in warm relationships. I would also say that I am high in this need as well and I always have been. I am a very empathetic and emotion person and I care a lot about people, sometimes people I might not even know. I know that this will be important in the future when trying to form relationships with clients and getting them to trust me and open up and talk.
My guess on the fish picture is that the fish is experiencing the feelings of vitality. The book mentions some sentences that most people agree with when they feel this, one of them being “sometimes I feel so alive I just want to burst”, “I feel so alive and vital”, and “I feel so energized”. The fish must be having a good day allowing it to feel autonomous, competent, and interpersonally related, therefore feeling vital!

Terms: Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, Drive, Motivation, Organismic, Vital

Chapter six discusses the psychological needs in motivation. The three points that are highlighted here are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The text first discusses the difference between the organismic approach versus the mechanistic approach. The organismic approach says that organisms need to be flexible and work with their changing environments to survive because they need resources provided by them. The mechanistic approach is a one-way approach that says the environment acts and people person reacts. This is not an interaction between human and environment.
The organismic psychological needs are the three big points listed above. Autonomy (the need to experience self-direction/ make our own decisions to seem independent) is defined by three qualities; perceived locus of causality, volition, and perceived choice. All three of these range on a continuum. Perceived locus of causality is how much someone understands the cause of their motivations. The continuum ranges from internal to external (similar to that same topic discussed in a previous chapter). Volition is willingness to do an activity. The continuum ranges from free choice versus coercion to do the activity. Finally, perceived choice is how much of a choice we feel we have in decisions. The continuum here is free choice versus obligation. These three experiences are combined to create a feeling of autonomy which is the first psychological need discussed in the text.
The second need is competence. Competence is defined as the level of effectiveness while interacting. This specific need focuses on opportunities for challenge and the personal skill (competency). In tasks where the opportunity for challenge is low and skill is high, we become bored. Likewise, when the challenge is high and skill is low, we become worried. Only when the skill fits the challenge, can we experience good flow (in which time moves fast and our needs are satisfied for the duration of the activity). The text also says that whether performance is good or bad during these tasks, positive feedback will increase performance and improve mood.
Finally, relatedness is defined as one’s need to belong. Everyone experiences a feeling of desire toward social interaction in some level. This need talks about how interacting with others and forming a social bond can improve a psychological state quickly. Relationships that involve caring, liking, accepting, and valuing are what we strive for as humans. Under this topic, internalization is defined as a process that a person takes in values. The example provided by the text is when a person internalizes the value of brushing their teeth. Actions and values are internalized by personal experiences and is assisted when someone has high relatedness.
The most surprising thing that I read in this chapter was how much psychological need goes into autonomy. I always thought I knew all there was to know about this topic. As discussed above, there are three experiences that go into being autonomous. I only identify as highly autonomous when looking in volition and perceived choice. Locus of causality is not a concept that I would have thought of when defining autonomy by myself. Overall, I would rate myself medium in autonomy, medium in competence (because I am competent in a large variety of tasks but am not an expert in any), and high in relatedness (because I relate and fit in well with many groups of people).
One specific psychological need that I would like to address in my life is competence. I know that I am good at many tasks (golf, swim, and even school most of the time). There are many other tasks I am competent enough to do, but my skill level directly correlates with what activities I use my time on. An example would be in the summer, I spend a majority of my time working at the pool and golfing because I know I am competent enough to do these things. I do not spend a lot of time doing yard work (or other jobs) because I know I would not be as good at that and would feel like I was wasting my time (anxious). I will need to find a new job soon however, because I am getting to the point where I am overly competent at a simple job (becoming bored).
The fish picture, to me, represents a “comfort zone” where the fish is not challenging itself. By jumping out of the bowl, it is giving itself a new perspective and challenge. It made a choice (on its own- autonomy) to jump out of the bowl and not be bored because it has higher skill level than the task of sitting in the bowl (competence).
Terms: Autonomy, Relatedness, Competence, Flow, Locus of causality, Volition, Perceive choice, Continuum, Organismic approach, Mechanistic approach

I guess I was surprised by organismic psychological needs. I have always known that people like to have autonomy, competence, and relatedness; I just didn’t know the names for what they were. I babysat a lot in high school and it always amazed me how bored the kids would get after starting a new activity. I never knew why but this section helped me understand that they move from activity to activity because they want to do something more fun and interesting than what they were just doing (competence). And they want to do it on their terms (autonomy), so now I understand that when the boys I babysat would get upset when I would tell them they couldn’t play a board game until they were done playing outside. I would make them chose one activity and stick with it for a while and not bounce back and forth. I also understand why they would get so upset when the neighbors couldn’t come out to play because of their need for relatedness, they were sick of just playing games with each other and myself.
If I had to rate myself on high, medium or low on the various psychological needs, I would say a medium in autonomy, and high in competence and relatedness. I think that a medium in autonomy sounds right to me because there are certain things that I 100% want to do on my own terms, but there are other things where I am happy to be told exactly how to do things. When it comes to doing my homework, I like having a list of what needs to be done that day and I am happy that I don’t have anyone telling me that I have to work on a 3 page paper before I start reading a chapter. My volition with doing homework is that I am coerced into doing it, because if I don’t, then I get a zero. But when I was training at work, I was told that there is a certain way to schedule people in and that if you even miss one step it can mess the whole process up, so it was nice being told exactly how to do it, that way everyone knows the correct way to do it too. I am high on the competence scale. I don’t like doing things wrong or feeling like I am not capable of doing something. At work once, I hadn’t worked the cash register in a few weeks, and because of that I was rusty. After that my boss didn’t put me on the register unless it was a slow day to, I’m assuming that was because it was less likely that I would mess up. I knew I was capable of running the register perfectly well, but my boss made me feel like I couldn’t because she wouldn’t let me. At a different job I was praised for picking up on our computer system so fast for how confusing it can be for newcomers and that made me feel good. On the relatedness scale I am high as well. I like getting to know people, as long as I am not forced into it. I have one coworker that always seemed to only be working on days I worked and when one of my friends was busy doing something and this coworker and I were left alone in the office, we didn’t speak much. I never felt the need to bond with her. At this job we are given the choice of what area we want to cover for the day and who we want to work with while we cover that area, and it’s a nice perceived choice.
Competency motivates my need for good grades. I have always been compared to my sister in terms of grades. She gets A’s pretty easily and I have to work for them. My sister had a teacher in high school that also had me as a student and the teacher told her that he was impressed at how much better of a student she was compared to me. That upset me a little because I am a good student; I just have to work a little harder to get the grades I want. I also don’t like to feel dumb compared to my peers that are in the same courses as me. My need for competency is pretty large. The perceived locus of causality in this is extremely external, I want others to see me as the intelligent person I am, so that is why I try hard on tasks.
If I had to guess why the fish relates to this chapter is maybe his need for competency. The fish is in a small bowl with no decorations and is maybe jumping to find a new bowl that has decorations that can keep him interested.

Terms: organismic psychological needs, competence, autonomy, relatedness, volition, perceived choice, perceived locus of causality

Chapter six discussed our psychological needs and how those needs are satisfied. Psychological needs motivate engagement in environments that are expected to nurture and satisfy these needs. Since these needs focus on challenge seeking and exploration, they are considered growth needs rather than deficit needs. There were three organismic psychological needs discussed that motivated our behavior, and those needs were autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Organismic psychological needs refer to the needs that motivate the exercise and development of skills.
Autonomy is the organisms need to experience self-direction and personal endorsement in the initiation and regulation of a person’s behavior. This means that a person only experiences autonomy when they are making their own decisions, not having their choices made for them. Three qualities determine the experience of autonomy, and those are perceived locus of causality, violation, and perceived choice.
The presence of these qualities depends on whether the environment has an autonomy-supportive motivating style or a controlling motivating style.
Competence involves the need to be effective in interactions with environment and reflects on the desire to exercise a person’s capacities and skills to master challenges. The environment needs to have optimal challenge, clear and helpful structure, high failure tolerance from others, positive feedback, and perception of progress for competence to be experienced. Flow is also a key feature of competence, and is experienced when skill and challenge are equivalent and moderately high in the activity a person is doing.
Relatedness is also an important psychological need. It is the need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people to create emotional connections and involvement in warm relationships. Interaction with others is the key condition to satisfying this need. The interaction must include perceptions that the other person both cares about ones welfare as well as likes them to satisfy the need. This brings into context the comparison of communal and exchange relationships. Communal relationships satisfy the need for relatedness because they are not based on business, but rather focus on the needs and wellbeing of others. Exchange relationships are only focused on business and no obligation to care about welfare.
The most surprising thing that I learned was that autonomy had such an effect on other forms of psychological needs and motivation. If a person experiences autonomy, they also have support for the needs/motivation of competence, relatedness, intrinsic motivation, and mastery motivation. If I had to rate myself on the three main psychological needs, I would say that I am medium on autonomy, medium on competence, and high on relatedness. With school and my job (I work at a group home for girls with behavioral issues) I am constantly interacting with others in relationships that are mostly warm. I also feel competence in school, but less at work since I just started the job a few weeks ago. I also feel moderate autonomy since I have the choice of what I do and when, but also no choice on when I have to go to work versus take a nap. If I am scheduled to work I do not have a choice.
In my psychological need for autonomy, I am motivated to do homework some days and watch Netflix on other days. Because I know I need to finish my homework, I am motivated to focus and complete it on some days. On other days, I do not feel like finishing it, so I make the choice of watching Netflix instead just because I can. This represents my autonomy to make my own decisions without control from others.
The fish picture could relate to this chapter in the way that the fish is making a self-determined choice to jump out of the bowl. If anyone else was in control, this choice would not have been made since the fish cannot breathe outside of water. This picture could also represent the fish being motivated to satisfy the psychological need of relatedness. The fish is all alone in the small bowl and maybe just wants to find some interaction with others in warm relationships.

Psychological needs
Organismic psychological needs
Perceived locus of causality
Perceived choice

Chapter 6 deals with everything that encompasses psychological needs, also known as organismic needs. The main three psychological needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Within the concept of autonomy is the idea on the conundrum of choice, supportive versus controlling motivation styles, and nurturing one’s own inner motivational resources. Next up is competence which has main points consisting of optimal levels of challenge as it relates to positive feedback, along with a concept known as the “flow state”. We are usually optimally challenged when we perceive that the likelihood of failure and success is about 50-50, or when confronted with a moderately difficult task. When completion of this challenge has been achieved, we receive feedback that our skills are sufficient and experience joy. The flow state is when an individual is completely absorbed in the optimal challenge at hand. When immersed in a flow state, concentration and enjoyment are very high. Lastly, the chapter discusses relatedness as it relates to our perceptions of social bonds, social interaction, and communal and exchange relationships.

What I found interesting during my first glance over this chapter was the conundrum of choice. The conundrum of choice being that when given options to choose from by an outside source we are less likely to satisfy our need for autonomy. On the flip side, when offered choices that are perceived as meaningful to one’s life, the need for autonomy is more likely to be satisfied. Of course the best way to satisfy our need for autonomy is to make a completely individual decision. I have always had an underlying sense that I felt somewhat less satisfied when deciding from options that were not originally my own and now I am aware of a theory that elaborates on why that may be. I find it rather interesting.

As for my self-ratings, I would start by stating that my need for autonomy is high. I thoroughly enjoy time alone with my own mind and a good book or a project of my own creation. I relish the freedom to make my own decisions. For instance, a hobby of mine is reading about astronomy and pondering crazy theories and probabilities of what our solar system and beyond may consist of. As for a project, I find a lot of joy in developing training routines for myself and others as I would like to become a collegiate strength and conditioning coach after attending graduate school here at UNI. I find joy in planning my own course of action and thinking freely, that is why my autonomy is high. I would rate competence as a medium need for me. While I do get really frustrated when I can not do something that I view as important, I also see the value in failure as a vehicle for growth. Due to this I am usually able to talk myself down after a failure and see how I can learn from my mistakes and potentially salvage some benefits and knowledge from my experience. I said “usually” however because sometimes I can be really frustrated with myself. That leaves relatedness, which I would say is moderate to low. I say moderate to low because I do cherish social interactions, primarily with my family and small circle of friends. I don’t usually get too worked up if I don’t get out and meet new people and interact with others frequently. I attribute this to my high need for autonomy.

Like I said previously, autonomy is important to me. Autonomy allows me to have full control over my decisions so that if I fail at accomplishing something I know that it was of my own fault and nobody else's. This may seem strange but it allows me to diagnose where I went wrong and work towards fixing the issue. I find value in making meaningful decisions. My high need for autonomy is likely related to me being a self-proclaimed perfectionist. This does not mean that I am perfect by any means, rather I strive to do things very well, often times on my own merit. I am also motivated to support others’ autonomy as I attempt to behave in ways that bolster the confidence of others and make them feel that they are capable of taking control of their own actions.

I would relate this image of a fish fleeing its bowl as the fish seeking out growth. I have a personal motto of, “discomfort leads to growth”. I think that it applies to this fish. It is seeking out discomfort (leaving the safety of the confined water) in order to push its boundaries and satisfy its growth needs. Not only is it seeking out new stimuli, the fish made this decision autonomously. Nobody pressured the fish into leaping from the water, in fact most people would have likely advised against it. The fish decided all by itself to take that leap of faith. The stressors of being in a new environment will challenge the fish in ways that it is not accustomed to, which will force it to either adapt (grow) or fail (die). Of course, if the fish’s physiological needs weren’t compromised it would likely adapt to its new environment given time.

Terms Used:
Conundrum of Choice
Optimal Challenge
Flow State
Social Bond

Everything that we do relates in some way to our psychological needs. When we do something that we find interesting or that we enjoy we have a sense of enjoyment from the activity that we are doing and when we do things that we need in life we also receive the joy from doing so because we need to in order to fill our psychological needs. The book mentions the three parts to what is known of or as organismic psychological needs. Those three things are Autonomy, competence and relatedness. The first one that was talked about in the book was autonomy and that is the want as a person to have control over what you chose to do and how you do it. Know body likes for someone else to tell them what they can or can’t do everyone likes to create goals and complete them. Something I always think of that seems t prove this well is when I used to ask my boyfriend to come to the gym with me and eat healthy and change his lifestyle and he turned fully again it and refused until it was his want and Idea and goal and the all of the sudden he was at the gym every day. It is hard to do an achieve something and find joy in it when someone else is telling us to do something. Competence was the next thing that was mentioned within the textbook. Competence is the strive to be able to complete something and to get it done in a certain amount of time and know that you were able to achieve it successfully. We all have things starting from a young age that we do that deal with competence like learning to ride a bike everyone had that similar time frame when learning to ride a bike with two wheels was a big deal and when you finally did it the feeling of knowing you can do it after taking all the time to learn met everything. As we get older being able to have a good job that pays well and a car are all things that everyone wants and everyone feels good knowing that they are able to have. The last thing that was talked about within the text as the big three was relatedness. Even mentioned back in the beginning chapters it was talked about things that are need like the basic food, shelter, water and then it moved up to relationships and love and then self-esteem. This is sort of what relatedness is the one to belong and be like others. This is something huge as you grow older in life epically around the teen years the want to fit in keeps growing and sometimes that’s when it can be a challenge.
A question that was asked that we talked about in this post was what I would rate myself when it comes to the psychological needs and I would say I would be more middle- low range. Although just like everyone I do need basic things to live and I do need to meet certain goals to have the feeling of competence completed I’m pretty easy going. I am the type of person that just kind of floats through life with a smile on my face and just keeps going. If I also had to say what I think the fish jumping out of the bowl as to do with this chapter I would say that it shows the fact that you can as a person jump out of your environment and see what’s all around you and still function fine. The environment around us can play a large role on the three main factors that were talked about within the chapter. This could be our workplace that could be either having a background where it pushes you to try harder or it could be laid back not having such a goal to get better.

Psychological needs

Psychological needs or sometimes referred as organismic psychological needs focuses on the relationship between a person and its environment. Autonomy, competence, and relatedness are the three psychological needs that “provide motivation that supports such initiative and learning” (Reeve, 145). After looking back the beginning of chapter 6 I thought the book did a good job at providing a great example of what these needs do for why the psychological need

I thought the conundrum of choice was the most interesting section of chapter 6. It makes sense that providing someone with choices that are meaningful towards the lives of someone that they experience a positive sense of autonomy. I think it is valuable to know this because you can find ways to better motivate people through offering choices that create a positive satisfaction.

When it comes to autonomy I would rate myself at a medium. When I am offered choices that are meaningful to my life I feel a high level/sense of autonomy. When it comes to being offered choices with no restrictions and am allowed to make choices that “truly reflect my personal values, goals, and interests” I feel a “sense of need-satisfying autonomy” but I also feel a sense of nervousness. The result of a mixture of feeling a sense of need-satisfying autonomy and my nervousness leads to both positive and negative “post-choice functioning in terms of enhanced intrinsic motivation” which effects my “creativity, preference for challenge, and performance” (Reeve, 147). I am also more motivated to work on essays when I have choices of what to write about that interests me when I have choices that aren’t interesting.

Competence is a “psychological need to be a effective in interactions with the environment, and reflects the desire to exercise one’s capacities and skills and, in doing so, to seek out and master optimal challenges. I rated myself at a high level of competence because I have always had a desire to interact effectively to my surroundings and to improve in every aspect of my life (school work, work, relationships with family and friends, sports, and video games). Even when competing against a friend or a random person in NBA 2K or Madden I am more motivated than when playing the CPU because there is more competition. My failure tolerance differs on the set of skills that I am using. When it comes to video games or sports my failure tolerance is low. I could be playing a pickup game or a game of NBA 2k and being lose by 20 points or by a last second shot and I would only be a little upset. On the other hand, when I experience failure in the classroom I experience more frustration. Whether my failures create little or a lot frustration, I use it to learn from my mistakes as motivation to improve my skills and experience success in the future.

Relatedness is the need to belong and close to people and the desire for social interaction. I rated myself at a high level of competence because I value strong/close relationships. I am constantly talking to my parents and brother on the phone and am always checking up on my friends on Facebook. I also chose relatedness as the psychological need to discuss how it motivates some of my behaviors because I feel that it fuels my behavior positive and negative ways the most out of any other psychological need. I have a strong need to have “close emotional bonds and attachments with friends and family and have always had a strong “desire to be emotionally connected and interpersonally involved in warm relationships” (Reeve, 162). I am one of those people that the textbook describes as always seeking emotionally positive interactions and when I achieve this I feel a high feeling of relatedness and when I can’t achieve this I feel a lack of satisfaction. I have always loved and valued friendship because I love creating a social bond between a person or group. Being a part of a tight group of friends allows me to be myself. I have experienced many times friends who don’t “involve caring, liking, accepting, and valuing” (Reeve, 163). During those times I have definitely felt lonely and not worthy of having friends. At some point my true friends have come and helped me back up.
The fish has psychological needs that aren’t being satisfied inside the fishbowl. The fish jumping out of the fishbowl is a symbol for striving for more in order to satisfy it’s need for improvements for learning, growing, and developing.

Psychological Needs
Need-satisfying autonomy
Intrinsic Motivation

Chapter six discussed psychological needs. Psychological needs are proactive, meaning they motivate a person to explore and seek challenges. Whereas physiological needs react to the environment. An organismic approach to motivation is the theory that a person interacts with the environment. The person-environment relationship is constantly changing. Both influence each other. Organismic psychological needs develop from the intrinsic motivation to interact with the environment. Chapter six focused on three psychological, autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Autonomy is the desire to be self-determining. We like to decide how we spend our time and what’s important to us. There are three experiential qualities of autonomy: perceived locus of causality (PLOC), volition, and perceived choice. PLOC is one’s understanding of a motivation’s source. Is it internal or external? Volition is the “unpressured willingness to engage in an activity.” Perceived choice is the flexibility to make decisions, which differs from obligation. There is a difference, however, between true choice and forced choice. For example, true choice is deciding whether or not to listen to music, but forced choice is deciding between two given genres of music to listen to. True choice has a greater positive impact on autonomy.

Competence is the ability to engage with one’s environment effectively. To feel competent, one must receive positive feedback and perceive progress in the task at hand. Part of competence is finding optimal challenges, challenges that are moderately high but don’t exceed our skill level. When a person reaches this state, it is called flow. Optimal challenge also means that a person can tolerate failure. Optimal challenge means that there’s a fifty percent likelihood that you fail and a fifty percent chance you succeed. Although achieving success of an optimal challenge is greatly rewarding to our competence level, we can learn more from our failures.

Relatedness is a sense of belonging. In order to achieve a high level of relatedness, a person must have interactions with other and perceive social bonds with others. A social bond is formed when a person feels like another cares about them and likes them. The quality of the relationship is more beneficial to relatedness than the quantity of relationships a person has.

The most surprising thing I learned from this chapter was actually something I already knew but just now fully realized and understood. This realization was that people interact with their environment; it’s not something I think about often or in-depth. I’ve always had a more mechanistic approach to understanding people’s relationship with the environment. The factor I was forgetting was that people are part of the environment too. Then it finally clicked; people and the environment (including other people) are constantly interacting with each other. One does not solely influence the other; it’s a two-way relationship.

If I had to rate my levels of autonomy, competence, and relatedness as low, medium, and high, I would rate my autonomy as high, my competence as medium, and my relatedness as medium. I can see these levels manifesting themselves in my life in various ways. My autonomy is high because I am very independent, I like be able to decide what is right for me, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it, too. My competence is medium. This one is a little more variable, depending on the activity. As a musician, I would say I have a high competence in sight-reading keyboard music but a low competence in advanced snare drum playing. Finally, I rated my relatedness as medium because it’s something I’m working on. Relatedness is incredibly important to me, but as a fifth year student, many of my close friends have moved away. This year I’ve had to place myself into a new group of people, searching for relationships that make me feel accepted and intimately known.

This being said, relatedness drives a lot of my behaviors. For example, lately I’ve felt disconnected from my friends, so I create more ways to spend time with them. I go to lunch and dinner in the dining center when I know they will be there. I go to their dorm to study, even though I’m always more distracted and less productive. I long for close connection with others, so a lot of my decisions are based on satisfying my sense of belonging.

Finally, I think the fish picture can relate to chapter six in a lot of ways. The fish is trying to satisfy his psychological needs. In attempts to satisfy autonomy, the fish is leaving the bowl because he wants to feel like he has the freedom to do so. In terms of competence, perhaps the fish is seeking challenge. He has a skill set greater than the opportunities available in bowl, so remaining in the bowl is boring. Finally, the bowl is empty (excluding the fish and the water), so maybe the fish is lonely. He doesn’t have a sense of belonging because he doesn’t have any interactions with others. Perhaps the fish is leaving the bowl in hopes to satisfy his relatedness, competence, autonomy, or all three.

Terms: psychological needs, physiological needs, organismic approach, intrinsic motivation, autonomy, competence, relatedness, PLOC, volition, perceived choice, true choice, forced choice, positive feedback, optimal challenge, flow, social bond, mechanistic approach

Organismic psychological needs or psychological needs are the building blocks of initiative and learning. The three subcategories are autonomy, competence, and relatedness or social interaction. Autonomy deals with the idea of choice or free will, the ability to decide on our own. Autonomy is that process and we need to experience it to have self-direction and control of our own behavior. Choice is a good in moderation, but when too much is prevalent issues can persist. A good example that the book uses is a choice between a crossword puzzle or an essay activity. For me, I dislike puzzles, and an essay I will write, but I will not want to do that either. In this instance, it is a choice but both choices are terrible to the person with a decision. When the word “Do,” is substituted compared to an either-or question, has a better feeling of a true choice. Deadlines interfere with autonomy, while opportunities support autonomy.
Competence is the desire to be effective in interactions with the environment. Shows a reflection of one's capacity to perform skills and tasks. Flow, a state of concentration in an activity is a pleasurable experience. The activity is often repeated to try and regain this sensation, as it was difficult but the right amount of challenge needed. When the challenge of difficulty is too high, emotional problems persist and the experience is not as enjoyable. Feedback is a key component here, as it also determines how well you think you did, according to others and yourself seeking feedback, hoping it is positive rather than negative. Structure is the ability to take information given and the clarity, that is expected from one person to do.
Lastly, relatedness or social interaction is the need to belong, or having emotional bonds and attachments with others. Having friends, family or loved ones that are affectionate relationships, that care for your well being and that are reciprocal is a good example of relatedness.
Based on the 3 levels of psychological needs I would rate relatedness as the lowest but sufficient, then followed by autonomy and competence. Competence I feel like for me sometimes the results don’t reflect the effort put in, and sometimes it is the opposite.I do things that I like well, and things that I don’t know that I try may reflect my ability the first time, but after multiple attempts or practice I can increase my knowledge. For autonomy I usually know if going forward what my decision is, whether it being buying washing detergent, paper towels, or toilet paper. I usually get the same thing, and do the same thing at restaurants. Relatedness I have a group of friends, then two best friends. Family and friends are my main sources of social interaction, and varies depending on how I feel for the day and how others feel.
Something that I found interesting is that performance feedback whether negative or positive is important for competence. I am fine with negative feedback most of the time, as it is supposed to be critique on how to do something better. But there is a difference between putting someone down, and sincerely offering help even though it is negative feedback.
Words Used: Competence, Structure, Autonomy, Feedback, Relatedness, Flow.

The chapter discusses with us the three components of psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy relates to the amount of control one has over their own choices. With autonomy comes either autonomy supportive of controlling behavior towards an individual who could then either have high, medium, or low autonomy. Competence is the psychological need to effectively present one’s skills in the environment and too seek out and master challenges within the environment. In order for competence to actually be achieved, one must receive a form of positive feedback for their presentation of skill towards a specific challenge. The feedback in its various forms supplies the individual with the ability to evaluate their competence level and then leads to satisfying the psychological need of competence, or not satisfying it if they feel incompetent. Relatedness refers to the need to belong and to form honest and valuable relationships that help us feel loved, valued, and emotionally connected to other people. People can forms two different forms of relationships that go along with relatedness, exchange or communal relationship. Communal being relationships that satisfy our need for relatedness and exchange not being able to satisfy that need.

The most surprising thing I learned was that those who are very low on their skill for a task and very low on task challenge do not reach the state of concentration called flow. As the chart shows in figure 6.5, the pleasurable experience of flow does not occur unless the person if high on the skill and high on the challenge it brings. When these two components are perfectly matched, flow occurs. This idea makes sense to me, but what was most surprising about it was that for those who are high in a skill but the challenge is low they become bored. In my personal experience, when my skill was higher than the challenge I tended to feel more competent and thus felt more autonomous, which I feel would coincide with flow. On the opposite end, it wasn’t surprising that those who are faced with a high level challenge and have a low skill level for it would feel worry, because this activity would be challenging their competence, which most humans don’t like.

I would rate myself fairly high on all three psychological needs. I like to be autonomous, and have always been very independent from people’s help, especially my parents. I want the tasks I do to be very much because I want to and I always want to be able to make my own choices on my own time. The following comments may seem very “teenage like” and stereotypical of teenagers who move out for college, but my relationship with my parents has become much stronger since and I believe that’s because my autonomy has increased. I view myself as even higher in competence; always wanting to show my skill level in certain activities and striving to accomplish challenges that are slightly harder than my skill level to feel even more competent. I recently started participating in PT (physical training) with Army a couple days a week in the morning, even though I felt slightly under competent, in order to challenge myself. I also feel high on relatedness, though not as high as autonomy and competent, because I enjoy connecting with people on personal levels, not just meeting people and not getting to know them.

My need for competence motivates me to try new things. Like I said previously, I recently joined PT simple because I wanted to push myself more and try something new. I joined in order to become more fit and increase my skill level within fitness. This motivation towards higher competence is something present in many of the things I participate in, and my psychological need for higher competence among broader aspects of my environment is what leads me to challenge myself, no matter the level of skill I have in that activity.

My prediction on the fish bowl is that he is leaving the confines of his home, the bowl, and branching out into the world to become more autonomous, competent and to find people to relate to. The amount of relatedness the fish is finding is lower than low in that fish bowl because there is noone there that it can compare fish scales to. The fish is low on autonomy because it hasn’t been able to make its own choices because he is forced to live in the fish bowl due to physiological needs. Living in the bowl reduced its ability to find competence within challenges because there is nothing for it to do there. The fish has decided to take over the choices of its life, find challenges, and find people that it can form relationships with.

Terms: Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, Positive Feedback, Psychological Need, Exchange, Communal, Flow

Chapter 6 talked about three major psychological needs that we have as humans. These needs would be autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Chapter 6 also talked about how and what affect these three different types of psychological needs. The first thing the chapter talked about was the organismic approach to motivation. The organismic approach to motivation uses an organismic theory which means that the theory acknowledges that peoples’ environments are constantly changing which is why organisms need to be able to be flexible and adjust things to accommodate said changes. Next chapter 6 talked about a person-environment dialect. The person-environment dialect talks about how people and the environment act on each other. The person acts on the environment out of curiosity, interest, and an intrinsic motivation to seek out an affect changes in it; the environment offers affordances, imposes structure, makes demands, provides feedback, offers need-satisfying or need-frustrating relationships, and offers a community and cultural context as the person strives to adjust and accommodate to it (Reeve 144). Chapter 6 then goes on to talk about each psychological need: autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as individual ideas. Starting with Autonomy, autonomy is the psychological need to experience self-direction and personal endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one’s behavior (Reeve 146). Autonomy is very important to individuals. When doing tasks, especially tasks that one does not want to partake in, the more autonomy you can give that person, the better off everyone will be. If you give them more autonomy they are going to do a better job because it gives them more the feeling of it being their choice as opposed to them feeling like they are trapped and they have to do it a certain way y a certain time or else. Next chapter 6 talked about competence. Competence is the psychological need to be effective in interactions with the environment, and it reflects the desire to exercise one’s capacities and skills and, in doing so, to seek out and master optimal challenges (Reeve 155). We experience the best feeling of competence when our skill level and the demands of the task at hand match up. If the task is too had for our skill level we become frustrated. If the task is too easy for our skill level we become bored. We like when our skills are challenged, but only to a point where we can still succeed thus showing off our skills. This is all part of the concept known as flow. Finally, chapter 6 talks about relatedness. Relatedness is the psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people, and it reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to and interpersonally involved in warm relationships (Reeve 162). There are 2 different types of relationships; exchange relationships are relationships that one has with someone in which they do business with and communal relationships are relationships in which people care about one another which would include family, friends, and significant others. Everyone has a need to have both exchange and communal relationships even if the are just on the outer most level.

The concept of flow was the most interesting thing that I learned. After reading about it though, it seems like common sense. If you do not have the skills to complete a task you are going to be mad. If your skills are too advanced for the task you are going to get bored. However, if your skills and the demands of the task match or are very close, then it provides just enough of a challenge that will make us feel competent once we successfully complete the task.

I would rate myself as medium on autonomy. I started playing sports at a very young age and sports is more of a controlling environment rather than an autonomous one which I think helped mold me into not needing a huge amount of autonomy in order to do tasks. Competence I would rate myself as high. I do not like to feel inferior when doing a task because it only makes me not want to attempt the task again or any task that is remotely similar. I would rate myself low for relatedness. I like when people that I like, like me back, but I do not need to have everyone like me or have a bunch of friends. I am not a big people person for the most part especially when working. I prefer to do things myself so that I can do them my way and get them done quickly and quietly.

Because my relatedness is low, when I start a new class I like to seclude myself if possible from everyone and I do not like to talk to anyone. I like to go to class, listen to the lecture, and leave. I do not like to be bothered by anyone. The same type of thing goes if I am at a social event that has people that I do not know at it. I stick around my friends because I am content with them and do not feel the need to make any more friends.

If I had to make a guess I would say that the fish is showing some autonomy by not wanting to be in the fish bowl so he is jumping out. This related to this chapter because this chapter had an entire section dedicated to autonomy.

Key Terms:
psychological needs, autonomy, competence, relatedness, organismic approach to motivation, person-environment dialect, flow, exchange relationships, communal relationships

In chapter 6 we discuss our psychological needs and how they affect our lives. The three main psychological needs outlined in the text are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy is somewhat of a personality trait that focuses on an individual's need for achievement and independence. Competence can kind of be explained by the process of learning a new skill. Competence deals with ones need to explore their interests and become knowledgable about certain content. Relatedness is someone's need for a sense of belonging. As humans who interact with each other on a daly basis, we long for a sense of connection and acceptance from those around us. These three basic psychological needs are what contribute to us people growing and learning, while maintaining a good sense of well-being. The chapter also discusses a theory called Organismic Integration Theory, or the organismic approach. The organismic approach to psychological needs tells us that our environment is constantly changing around us, and our psychological needs change accordingly as well.

If I were to choose the most surprising thing I read in this chapter it would have to be the part of the chapter that talked about choice and how it is influenced by people. For example, to ask someone "Hey, would you like to go out and do something tonight?" is autonomously supportive to the person being asked the question. Whereas if I were to change that sentence to "Hey, would you like to go to the movies tonight?" it all of the sudden takes away someone's choice in a way. The first sentence gives that person all kinds of options on what to do with their night, while the second sentence kind of makes it seem like a my way or the highway situation.

When it comes to my own psychological needs, I would rate myself fairly highly in all three of the categories. I have lots of interests and have a need to delve into them and learn as much as I can about each thing I feel passionately about, so I would rate my autonomy needs as pretty high. In conjunction with that, my need for competence is very high. It bothers my quite a bit to be having conversations with people about a certain topic that I am not very educated on. I also play the guitar, and one of the most satisfying feelings to me is mastering a new scale, or learning a new song or technique. I would say competence is the highest of my three needs. When it comes to relatedness, I would still rate it at a fairly high level, but it is the lowest rated need to me. I can be content on spending a couple days on my own, getting things done, accomplishing goals, this doesn't bother me at all. However, definitely too much alone time is a real thing for me. Feeling isolated and lonely is detrimental to anyone's mental health.

As I said before, I think my need for competence is highest in my life. At the beginning of August I picked up a guitar because my daily summer routine had become boring and I wanted to mix things up and learn something new. Plus besides that, I had always wanted to learn to play since my dad was a guitar player and would play around the house when I was a kid. it was frustrating at first, but I quickly learned some chords and songs and felt so accomplished when I did, the feeling of learning something new is what keeps me coming back to the instrument. I suppose this could also be an example of autonomy as well. Me seeing my dad playing the guitar when I was a kid and thinking of how cool I thought it was, I wanted the personal achievement of being able to do that too.

My theory on the picture of the fish is that the fish is fulfilling his autonomous need of being independent and breaking out of the confines of the fish bowl. However, I also think that the fish is curious about what else is out there beyond the fish bowl. The fish has a competence need that has not been met, and is going out into the unknown world to make it become known and satisfy it's need for competence. Or maybe the fish is lonely and seeks companionship or a sense of belonging. The fish is jumping out of his lonely little bowl in order to find a sense of belonging or purpose in life, and meet it's need for relatedness in it's life.

Terms: Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, Psychological Needs

Chapter 6 is about how psychological needs play a role within the human existence. The three main areas focused on by psychological needs are autonomy, competency, and relatedness. The chapter explains that autonomy is basically the individual’s choice or free-will to be able to make decisions for themselves. The best way for me to think of this is in Erikson’s stages of development and how at ages 1 ½ to age 3, children realize they can do things for themselves. They most likely do not want to be spoon fed or want help doing things, because they believe that they can do it themselves just fine. This is when autonomy first emerges, but it continues to manifest itself throughout our lives and how it helps to influence our decisions. Competency is the likelihood that we would be able to endure a task successfully or efficiently. In order to master a skill one must have the competency to do so or they would not be able to do it. Relatedness is basically having the desire to engage socially with other people in order to feel connected with others. This is where we seek belongingness, because we want to be able to care for others and we want them to care about us as well.

The most surprising thing I learned in this chapter was the concept of flow, which is also known as being “in the zone,” and the research that Dr. M.C. has done on the matter. We usually say we are “in the zone” when we are extremely focused on one specific task and will be until completion of that task. The person is usually energized, involved, and enjoying the task at hand when in the process of flow. I can honestly say the I am immersed in flow when I am really trying to get all of my homework done. As I write this post I feel as though I am currently in the process of flow, because my writing is just flowing and coming naturally. I have also experienced flow when I am painting or just getting creative in general with different art projects, because I enjoy it. It is like I get lost into the task and lose track of time and everything else, because this is what matters most at the current time, especially if I want to get it done.

A specific psychological need that motivates some of my specific behaviors would be relatedness. I chose this one more than the others, because majority of things in my life have to do with other people and the ability to interact with them. When it comes to school you usually have to speak with or at least be around other students and the professors. It is also nice to be classified as a student along with the others on campus, because it is something that we all related with and can talk about. If I am having trouble with something in one of my classes, I am motivated to speak to the professor in order to fix the problem. Most jobs require people to be able to interact with their coworkers in order to get the job done well and also with upper management. The more I get along with my coworkers and even the customers, the more I am motivated to go to work and work more hours. Also within my personal life I interact with my family and friends and they motivate me to want to keep going in life. These are the people that make you want to do better and be better all of the time. As humans we all want to belong somewhere and be a part of some kind of group. This is why depressed people are usually lonely and why when people are lonely they feel depressed, because we need those social bonds.

If I had to rate myself as high, medium, or low on the three psychological beings, my autonomy would probably be high. This is manifested in my life in the way that I believe that I have a lot of ability to make my own choice at this stage in my life as a 20-year-old college student. I am able to make all of my decisions on my own unless I seek out a second opinion by choice. In school I have the choice of some classes to take, what my major is, what minor or minors I want, where I go to school, etc. There is no one telling you what your decisions are going to be for any of these. When it comes to work, I have to have some kind of job in order to survive, but there is not one telling me where I have to work, or how many hours I have to work, or what days. If you don’t like what you’re paid or whatever else, you have the ability to find a different job. Also at home I live with some roommates, buy my own food, pay my own bills, take care of my own things, drive my own car, etc. I have a choice to change any aspects of any of these things at any time if I do not like it. As for competence, I would currently score myself medium just because I am always learning new things for work and for school. This manifests itself in my life, because I am competent at a lot of things and believe that I could be competent at almost anything if given the chance to learn. Although, there is a lot that I do not know. Relatedness is kind of a hard one for me to score, but I would say medium as well. This manifests itself in my life in the way that I currently do not have close relationships with many people and there are a lot of time where I feel lonely. I do have the ability to display relatedness with my coworkers, classmates, stranger, etc. and I am good at socializing when I do so. It is just hard for me to make friends with other people and overcome my anxiety to socialize with others, especially my age. I do have a need for belonging and I do enjoy caring about others and I do hope that I am cared about by others as well.

If I had to guess about the fish picture and how it relates to the chapter, I would say that is displays the three main psychological needs. The fish jumping out of the bowl is showing autonomy because it has made the choice to do something different. After a while you want to jump outside the bowl or step outside the box to see what else life has to offer. The fish wants to make the choice for itself to do something on its own without the help of anyone else. Competency is also shown in this picture, because jumping out of the bowl would be a kind of skill. The fish has the ability and the knowledge to be able to jump out and obviously completed that task successfully. Relatedness is not shown as much, but one could say that he feels like he belongs somewhere else where there are maybe some other fish to be around. Swimming in the bowl by himself could be lonely and depressing. In order to meet its psychological well-being or needs, he needs to have some kind of relationship with something or someone else.

Perceived choice
Psychological needs

Chapter 6 was about psychological needs that all individuals have. These psychological needs often will correlate with the desire we have to do certain things in our daily life. This chapter start out by defining the difference between organismic approach and mechanistic approach. The organismic approach can be explained by how the environment changes and then we change to fit our environment. The other approach is very different being that mechanistic is an approach that it giving us a reason to life a live more exciting than just surviving. Psychological needs will focus on 3 main ideas, including autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy is the freedom to make our own choice, and have a say in our life. There are a few qualities that work together with autonomy including, perceived locus of causality (PLOC). This refers to an individual ‘s understanding of the casual source of his or her motivations actions. Another quality is volition, unpressured willingness to engage in an activity. This is centered on how free vs coerced a person feels while they’re doing what they want to do. Lastly, perceived choice refers to the sense of choice we experience when we find ourselves in environments that provide us with decision making flexibility, and this gives us many opportunities that allow us to choose. The next psychological need is competence. Competence can be described as the need to be challenged and how we overcome the challenges that arise. Challenge is important in or lives, but we need the perfect amount of it. I think that we can see this in our school work. Some individuals will take the perfect amount of credit and hard classes, leaving them to experience a good flow with their life. If an individual would take to many classes and credits they would become overwhelmed and stressed out. Lastly, if an individual is taking to little of credits or have easy classes they will feel bored. I personally feel that I am challenging myself a little more than I should be, but I want to graduate early and start applying for Graduate school, so this leaves me with no other option. I also feel that I am not over doing it to much to the point where I am completely stressed out all of the time. The last main need it relatedness. Relatedness is the want and need to be social and form relationships with others. Everyone feels the desire and need to have relationships with other people, even if some individuals are higher on this than others. Overall I would say that I am high in autonomy, competence, and relatedness. I have a strong desire to make my own decisions for my life, and at times it could be bad and also good at other times. I think that having a high autonomy can be good because I want I have goals for myself, but it could be bad if I start to be narrow minded and only want what I want. I also am high in competence, because like stated earlier, I am taking extra classes and challenging myself with school, work, and extra activities. I can absolutely see how having a very low competence could be bad as well as having a very high could be bad as well. Lastly, I know that I am high in relatedness. I am a very social person and like to be around friends and family. I have a strong relationship with my family and often go home on weekends to see them. I am currently engaged, so that is an obvious relationship that is formed in my life. I also live with three other girls, and involved in a connection group that helps create bonds with other girls as well. Overall all of these psychological needs are represented strongly in my life, and I believe that we need them all at certain levels to have a healthy lifestyle.

Psychological needs
Organismic approach
Mechanistic approach
Perceived choice

Chapter six follows the theme of psychological needs. In this chapter, it explains the three different psychological needs, which include autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Furthermore, this chapter goes into explain also why we have these needs and how we get to them. These relate to this class because external and internal events motivate your psychological needs.
The most surprising and interesting thing that I learned about from this chapter was the conundrum of choice. It was interesting to read that although it is a choice, is it really a choice? The example given about the student was a very clear explanation of this. The student is given a choice between two things of what they want to write about. However, what if they do not even want to write in the first place? The “either-or” choices make people feel somewhat pressured. On the other hand, there are the questions that are unrestricted and have no strings attached, people feel more of a sense of a need-satisfying autonomy. After reading this, it made a little more sense to me, but honestly it was not something that I would have thought about before reading this chapter. I found it surprising that when people have these open, unrestricted choices, it leads to a positive post-choice functioning in terms of enhanced intrinsic motivation, effort, creativity, preference for challenge, and performance.
If I were to rate myself on the three psychological needs, I would probably be medium to high in all three. Autonomy is the need to experience self-direction and make own directions to seem independent. I like to be independent, and I think that I need that in my life. I like doing what I want, when I want. However, I do not absolutely hate when someone offers their opinion, as long as I feel like I still made the ultimate choice. With competence, I would be the same. Growing up, my siblings were all fairly smart, honor roll, perfect attendance students. I was not, and until I got a little older like high school, I started to compare myself and strive to be better than them. This was much harder for me to do than them, but I did not like to feel like I was less because I was not achieving the same standards as them. With relatedness, I would rate myself high. I have always been a person who builds relationships and likes to relate to other people, even if there is not a lot to relate to.
If I had to take a guess, I would think that the fish jumping out of water is the fish jumping out of a comfort zone. It takes a lot to step out of our comfort zones, but it ends up satisfying needs sometimes. It relates because it used autonomy by making the choice to “jump.” From what I can see, nobody told the fish to jump, it did it on its own. The next thing it relates to is competence because it wants to strive to do something different. The fish probably just swims around all day in a tank, but when it jumped out of the water it was using competence and autonomy.

Terms: relatedness, autonomy, competence, conundrum of choice, needs, true choice

This chapter focuses on psychological needs. Psychological needs are credited as organismic needs which are entities that interact and react to conditions within the environment. These interactions and reactions allow the organism to grow and change. The relationship is one where both the environment and the organism give and receive from each other. There are three types of organismic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy is our desire for the freedom to make decisions. The lack of autonomy pressures us to act, think, and feel a certain way which can cause strife within our lives. Perceived locus of causality, volition, and perceived choice all define autonomy. Perceived locus of causality is a continuum from which a person derives their believe as to whether a behavior originates within themselves or from an outside source. Volition is a person’s willingness to participate in a behavior. Perceived choice is whether we feel that a behavior stems from a choice or an obligation. A person’s sense of autonomy can be supported through information, proper explanations, and careful listening. Supported autonomy enhances development, learning, and performance. Competence is the desire to be effective in one’s behaviors. A person can experience flow when their abilities are at the same level of the challenge they are facing. Flow can be so pleasurable that people try to repeat the challenge, so they can feel the flow again. If the challenge is too difficult or too simple, a person will feel boredom or anxiety and stress. Relatedness is the desire to form close, intimate social relations. These relationships must be true bonds that are not give and take but are one which the participants truly care for and like the other person. In that context, it is possible for the other person to internalize the other’s believes and behaviors.
It was very surprising that in order for autonomy to be allowed to flourish, a person must be given a true choice and not an either-or choice. Just because someone is given a choice does not mean that it allows them to freely express who they are. For example, if I am given a choice on whether I want peas or green beans for dinner does not mean that I even want vegetables in the first place. For me personally, my need for relatedness is the highest out of the three. I deeply desire close, intimate relationships with other people. Due to this desire, I value well cultivated relationships rather than multiple, more distance relationships. It is so important to me that, even though I may not have many, I frequently go out of my way to spend time with people I am close to even if it means sacrificing some time that could be better spent elsewhere. Lately, I have been feeling lonely so as I write this, I am spending time with my roommate. This action could potentially lower my grade as it could distract me from my studies but I deeply desire to be with her and not be alone. Just the shared environment boosted my feelings of relatedness. My desire for autonomy ranges around the medium to high ranges. I can understand why I need to complete certain behaviors forced upon me by others and on some days, I am content to complete them while on other days I deeply desire to complete behaviors that no one has to tell me to do. As for my need for competence, my desire for it is in the medium range. It is important to appear competent and smart, but it is not nearly as important as relatedness.
I believe the fish is expressing its desire for competence and autonomy. The fish is showing it can do better than swim in a tiny bowl all day. It can go other place than which it lives. It is also showing autonomy by making the decision to leave its comfort zone and go to a new environment which interests it. The fish does not want to be constrained by the decision to be in a bowl all day, hence the decision to leave the bowl.
Terms: Need, competence, relatedness, autonomy, perceived locus of causality, volition, perceived choice, organismic, flow

This chapter discussed psychological needs such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These things are influenced by both internal and external environments. We must learn to satisfy these needs to feel enjoyment or completion. The organismic approach talked about how we as organisms need to be flexible and willing to adapt or change to and with our environments in order for survival. The mechanistic approach is an approach that only works one way and says that the environment reacts when we as people act. It isn’t an actual interaction between us and the environment. Organismic psychological needs are the autonomy which is when we make our own decisions or have our own ideas. Autonomy is defined by perceived locus of causality, volition, and perceived choice. Perceived locus being how much someone understands why they were motivated to do something, volition is how willing you are to do a particular activity, and perceived choice is how much of a choice we feel that we have when making a decision. Competence is how effective something while interacting. These focus on a person’s skills. The book discussed that when there is a low challenge with a high skill, we become bored, however when the challenge is high but the skills are low we become worried. The only time we experience a good feeling is when the skill fits the challenge. The text also discussed that no matter it the performance is good or bad positive feedback increases the performance and improves their mood. Relatedness is ones person to belong. As humans we all desire some sort of interaction, on different levels for each person. Underneath relatedness is internalization switch is the process that a person takes in values. The text talked about when a person internalizes the value of something like brushing their teeth. Actions and values are internalized by each persons personal experience and then is relevant when there is high relatedness.
When it comes to autonomy I would rate me on a scale of medium and approaching the high end, I often know why I do many of the things that I do but other times I find myself questioning why I did that or even decided not to do something. There are many times where I question why I chose my major and what drove me to it. I would say I am medium when it comes to competence, I like to learn new things but I wouldn’t say I have a strong passion for it. One example of this would be learning new things that apply to psychology, I know it’s important so I’ll learn it an probably have fun doing so, but I’m not extremely passionate about it. When it comes to relatedness I am on the high end of the scale, I need close friends, I need people to make me feel good about myself and what it is that I am doing. I am very dependent on others and often look to them before I look at myself.

Organismic Approach
Mechanistic approach
Psychological needs

This week’s chapter expanded upon the different elements of psychological needs that have been mentioned in the previous chapters. The textbook defines three psychological needs that impact motivation and emotion including autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These needs stem from the needs to have control over decisions, feeling skilled, and having meaningful relationships with others. Throughout this post, I will examine this chapter further by exploring what information I found surprising, the importance I put on these needs, their presence in my life, and how I feel they impact my behavior.

When reading through the chapter, I found something interesting in each section on the different psychological needs. For autonomy, I was surprised by the description of the difference between choices. The text explained that there is a difference in an environmental event offering us a choice and the personal experience of true choice. Before reading this, I had not considered the complexity of choice and how it operates in my life. I would agree that, on a very subtle level, people are aware of this difference and automatically prefer to have a true choice. For competence, I was intrigued by the idea that an optimal challenge can make any activity enjoyable. I think, in theory, that this is definitely true. For me, I feel that having a social context that tolerates failure helps to emphasize the optimal challenge and allows me to feel more open to pursuing and being successful in an activity. Lastly, for relatedness, I was confused by the explanation that emotions like depression were a sign of a life that lacked in intimate relationships. I think this ignores the other elements that lead to experiencing depression such as a drop-in serotonin. This was especially odd because those issues have been described in previous chapters. With that being said, I do find that relatedness can positively impact my depression which I will explore further in a moment.

When considering the importance, I put on these psychological needs, I would consider autonomy the most important, relatedness second, and competence as the least important. I can definitely think of times when this order has been different but, as of right now, this is what I believe is an accurate representation of the role these needs play in my life. I am nearing graduation and because of this my choices, and therefore my autonomy, is being constantly questioned. This is done by people suggesting choices for what I do after college or telling me that what I am considering isn’t realistic. Due to this, I am constantly seeking a deeper understand of my own choices so that I can better validate them to myself and others. Secondly, relatedness has been especially prevalent this semester as I have many budding friendships that I am afraid to lose after graduation. Lastly, competence is at the bottom because I do not feel particularly skilled in any of the things I am doing currently. I have ambitions to become fluent in another language and when I do find the time to work at this I definitely experience competence and flow. But because this is not a regular occurrence, I do not feel the effect or importance of competence regularly enough to rank it higher.

Although I ranked relatedness as of middle importance, I can think back on times when my lack of meaningful relationship drastically effected my emotions and motivations. When I read that only communal relationships can satisfy this need, I had a sudden realization of a primary reason for my depression sky rocketing when I started college. As I said before, I reject the assumption that relatedness alone can create depression especially that of the clinical variety. With that being said, when I started college, I had no one and struggled to form even exchange relationships. I felt alone but, as the textbook describes, this was not due to a lack of social interaction but from a lack of meaningful social interaction. Even now, with anti-depressants and more communal relationships, I still struggle with depression on a nearly daily basis. Despite this, I have learned that interacting with the people that form my communal relationships can help me dig myself out of the whole I have fallen into and lift my depressive state. Due to this, even though I ranked it in the middle overall, I would say that relatedness is the primary reason I am able to successfully function every day.

In conclusion, the psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are necessary for people to feel motivated and fulfilled in their lives. For myself, autonomy is the most prevalent in my life right now but relatedness is a close second do to its impact on suppressing depressive moods. With the information from this chapter, I am more readily able to identify the difference between decision making options, elements that impact competence, and how communal and exchange relationships differ on their importance in creating meaningful social interaction.

Psychological Needs
Optimal Challenges
Communal Relationships
Exchange Relationships

Chapter 6 discusses the Organismic Approach to Motivation focusing on the study of three psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The organismic approach to motivation describes human beings as initiating interactions with the environment and how they adapt, change, and grow to accommodate with an ever changing environment. The opposite of this would be a mechanistic approach, which is when the environment acts on the person and the person reacts (pg. 143). According to the text (pg. 146), “autonomy is the psychological need to experience self-direction and personal endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one’s behavior.” There are three subjective qualities within autonomy: Perceived Locus of Causality, Volition, and Perceived Choice over One’s Actions. Competence is defined by the text as, “the psychological need to be effective in interactions with the environment” (pg. 155). Competence allows people to satisfy the need to develop new skills enabling them to grow and master optimal challenges. Relatedness is defined as, “the psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people” (pg. 162). Relatedness is also important because people function better, are resilient to stress, and have fewer psychological difficulties.
I was surprised by something from each one of our psychological needs. For autonomy, I was surprised by the studies that compared autonomy-supportive versus controlling and how it impacts our motivation. For competence, I was most surprised at how complicated “flow” is. The Flow Model, on page 156, helped me to understand the different conditions produced depending on the opportunities for challenge and a person’s skills and competencies. For relatedness, I was most surprised by what qualifies as satisfying the need for relatedness. A person needs to confirm the relationship with another person involves caring and liking in order to satisfy relatedness.
I would give myself a medium rating for autonomy. I enjoy having control over my behavior and determining my own actions, however, I also like to have guidance from others. I would give myself a high rating for competence because I enjoy learning new skills and mastering them. The only time I have ever experienced flow (the state of concentration that involves a holistic absorption and deep involvement in an activity, pg. 156) is when I am drawing. I had to practice drawing until the challenge of drawing and my skill of drawing were equally matched, and then I experienced flow. I would give myself a high rating for relatedness because I enjoy having close relationships with my friends and family. It makes me happy knowing I have people that like and care for me.
The fish in the picture perfectly illustrates the desire to satisfy the three psychological needs. First, the fish does not have autonomy because inside the fishbowl, the fish is not given opportunity to decide what to do. It is only able to swim around the small the tiny fishbowl. The fish also does not have competence. It cannot effectively interact with the environment and exercise its capacities and skills when it is trapped in the fishbowl. Finally, the fish is unable to satisfy the need for relatedness because it has no other fish to interact with, it is all alone in the tiny fishbowl. In order to satisfy autonomy, competence, and relatedness, the fish must escape.

Terms used:
Organismic approach to motivation
Mechanistic approach
Psychological needs
Competence (Flow)

Chapter 6 of the text focused on the three primary psychological needs of individuals. These three needs are: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. All three components and the manner in which they impact the motivation of individuals is discussed.

Autonomy is defined as the flexibility to make your own decision regardless of the environmental factors. Perceived locus of control is one factor that defines how an individual experiences autonomy. The perceived locus of casualty is the understanding an individual has regarding the reason for his motivation. The chapter discusses an example of reading for fun and for an exam. Reading for fun results in an internal locust of casualty while reading in order to prepare for an exam results in an external locust of casualty. The second factor that may define the experience of autonomy is volition. Volition is described as an individual’s freedom to engage in an activity. An individual’s volition is high when they engage in an activity that they choose free from any environmental influences. The third component is described as perceived choice. Perceived choice is the sense of choice that the environment provides. An example of perceived choice is nursing home residents being able to control their daily activities schedule.

Competence is defined as the ability to perform task successfully and efficiently. This psychological need is important for many individuals in order to reach a state of flow. The state of flow occurs when an individual successfully performs a task successfully and gains competence. However, as described in the chapter an individual can only reach a state of flow is the task that the perform well in is challenging. Flow cannot be reached if someone successfully performs a simple task. Simple tasks do not provide the challenge necessary to reach this state and as a result cannot be used to maintain the state of flow. However, challenges that are beyond the potential of an individual may result in a decrease in competence and as a result causes an individual to quit or to stay away from the environment where the challenge is presented. Competence is typically measured in one of four manners. These manners are: successfully completing the task, comparing current and past performances, comparing one’s performance to others, and through the evaluation of other individuals. These four manners of measuring competence are typically used in order to assess the performance of a task and providing positive or negative feedback regarding competence levels.

The final psychological need discussed in this chapter is relatedness. Relatedness is defined as the connection an individual has with a certain person or group of people. Individuals have a strong desire to belong to certain group or to be accepted in society. However, many people assume that being around a group of people or being in a relationship will satisfy this psychological need. This chapter discussed the fact that it isn’t the social setting that increases relatedness, but the close connection an individual has with a person or group of people. It is clear how an individual surrounded by a group of people can still experience loneliness due to the fact that he doesn’t have a strong connection with anyone. In order to satisfy relatedness, it is crucial to develop a strong connection with at least one other individual.

I would rank myself high in competence and at a medium level in both relatedness and autonomy. I consider myself to have strong relationships with only a handful of people which is why I would rank my relatedness at a medium level. My current lifestyle is structured around school and work which are not really free from my personal choice, however I do have certain hobbies that I freely choose to do which is why my autonomy is ranked at a medium level. I enjoy being challenged by new tasks every day. I strive to overcome the challenge and to increase my skills. I believe that the desire of competence motivates me to take on challenges and to never give up. Due to this fact, I believe that my competence would be ranked at a higher level. I believe that the picture of the fish jumping out of the bowl is its desire to satisfy its psychological needs. The fish has been trapped in the bowl by itself with nothing to do but swim. In order for the fish to satisfy its psychological needs, it needs to jump out of the bowl and seek the three psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

-Perceived locust of casualty
-Perceived Choice

Unlike physiological needs, which tend to be driven by a biological deficit, and to which the individual is reactive, psychological needs are growth-oriented and the individual is actively looking for environmental cues for opportunities to actualize a latent potential. When we are presented with these environmental cues, we feel interest, and when our psychological needs are met, we feel a pleasant sense of enjoyment.

In order to understand the complex relationship between internal psychological needs and emotional states, and environmental factors that pose opportunities and serve as rewards or reinforcers, we need to understand that the organism is actively seeking engaging and challenging opportunities in the environment in which to engage and fulfill these needs. The environment, besides providing opportunity cues, provides feedback, rewards, poses constraints, includes relationships and community and cultural context for expressing those needs. There is a continual feedback between the internal and the environmental acting on each other, that can be understood in a dialectical fashion. In other words these two sets of contrasting forces are constantly interacting to produce different motivational potentials and energies that drive behavior. For instance, I may respond to an opportunity to satisfy my competence need by pursuing a challenging activity that is valued in my culture, which then also produces reinforcing external rewards in the form of praise of others. I then seek out additional opportunities to take on greater or new challenges in other areas that are also highly valued in my culture, and in the process may satisfy some of my relatedness needs, and so forth.

There are three basic psychological needs discussed: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy is the need to decide what to do for myself, and requires a range of meaningful choices and the decision-making flexibility to choose among them. Autonomy can enhance engagement, personal development and learning, performance, and psychological well-being. Whether or not autonomy needs are being met can be understood by looking at in in several ways. Personal locus of causality (PLOC) focuses on the individuals conscious understanding of him or her self as the source of motivation relative to external sources, and exists on a continuum from entirely internally caused motivational energy to entirely external/environmentally caused motivation. Volition is the degree of unpressured willingness to engage in a behavior, and is contrasted with its opposite of being externally coerced. Perceived choice is our sense that we have flexibility to pick among many choices, and its opposite is a feeling of being obligated to choose or having not real options to chose among. For instance, if I give my son a choice between sitting quietly and reading or drawing, at one level he has some choice, but if he would rather be running around playing chase with his brother, he does not perceive this as a real choice.

Autonomy can be supported or undermined by the motivational style of those with power or authority to influence my behavior. An autonomy-supportive motivational style looks at the world through the other’s perspective, nurtures and values the individuals inner motivational resources (e.g., interests and likes), enhances growth opportunities during the activity, uses flexible language that does not pressure the individual for a predetermined, externally-sanctioned answer, explains the rationale for when a choice is constrained, and acknowledges and respects expressions of negative affect by the individual. A controlling motivational style, undermines internal motivational resources, sees the situation from the perspective of the motivator, is outcome focused, uses inflexible language, does not explain rationale, and disregards or punishes expressions of negative affect.

Humans seem to be driven to explore their latent potential by seeking opportunities to show mastery at meeting environmentally posed challenges (competence). The key external factors in satisfying the competence need include an optimal challenge (difficult at the current level of skill, but not too difficult), a clear and helpful structure in which to pursue the activity, a high failure tolerance by others in the environment, positive feedback, and cues that give the individual a perception of progress. This optimal balance between the individuals skill set and the difficulty of the challenge is especially important to experiencing the deep pleasure that can come from satisfying this need, and is described by Csiksentmihaly as “flow experience.” He describes it as a state of concentration involving holistic absorption and deep engagement in an activity. One loses oneself in the activity during moments of flow. Csiksentmihaly’s studies found it to be so pleasurable that people often will repeat the behavior over and over and over again in hope of experiencing flow again. When an activity is not sufficiently challenging, we become bored. When it is too challenging for our level of skill, we become worried or anxious. If it is both low skill and low challenge, we become apathetic. It is when the skill and challenge are fairly closely matched that we are most likely to experience flow. And, it is increasingly likely as both the skill and challenge rise.

Humans are a fundamentally social species, so it is not surprising that we have an innate relatedness need, including a need to belong to a group or groups, have friends and acquaintances with whom we interact, especially those relationships in which we experience affection and security. Forming new relationships can be a particularly powerful way to satisfy this need, and the quality of the social bond formed also impacts the degree to which we satisfy the need. A social bond with another in which we perceive that the other cares about us and our needs, accepts and likes us for who we are are more satisfying than those where we associate but do not perceive these bond qualities. People that are lonely generally do not lack for interactions with others, but they lack the qualities of a strong bond with enough people. If my interactions are largely with people with whom I am merely interacting to exchange things of value (exchange relationships), I will not meet my relatedness needs very well, compared to relationships in which there are feelings of belongingness to a group (communal relationships), reciprocation of regard, responsiveness to my emotional signals that show that the other is willing to help me meet my other needs. I also gain a sense of identity and adopt schemes of valuation from by participation in social groups (internalization).

Fairly little was surprising in this chapter, as I was familiar with flow theory, have studied attachment and the brain as a social organ, and in my political science career have researched and written on choice and autonomy. Some of the technical terminology that is specific to psychology (e.g., PLOC) was a bit less familiar, and looking at motivational styles in terms of language flexibility was very helpful in thinking about how I interact with my children, but also help clients when it comes to being more skilled in relationships.

I am extremely high in autonomy, medium to high in competence need, and somewhat lower in relatedness need. I react strongly when choices are constrained and a sufficient and convincing rationale is not provided, I want to understand why I should perform an activity the way someone is suggesting, and I definitely am highly attuned to the degree to which choices are constrained by external socio-political structures and conventions, and tend to chaff against those. I also tend to persist when a challenge that I value is mastered, and have experienced flow in a number of activities that I enjoy pursuing. I tend to be a bit more satisfied than most being on my own and not having to deal with people for chunks of time. That said, I seek out engagement, and value a close bonds with a small number of people at any one time.

The fish is alone, so perhaps it is seeking out others to meet its need for relatedness (although I am unsure if goldfish are generally social species). The limits of the bowl present a constraint on choices, so it can represent a need for autonomy in feeling like it has a meaningful choice and volition. There is also a physical challenge posed by the wall of the bowl, and the attempt to see if it can jump beyond the bowl could be an attempt to satisfy its competence need. I will be an especially good day from a psychological needs perspective if it is meeting two or more of those needs simultaneously. Of course, then it will bump into the problem of having to meet its physical need to breathe and stay hydrated, and so the day will likely end up very badly for the little bugger!

Terms: psychological needs, organismic approach, person-environment dialectic, autonomy, competence, relatedness, interest, satisfaction, enjoyment, Personal locus of causality (PLOC), volition, perceived choice, autonomy-supportive motivational style, controlling motivational style, learning, growth, well-being, flow experience, flow theory, Csiksentmihaly, optimal challenge, failure tolerance, positive feedback, belonging, affection, social bond, exchange relationships, communal relationships, internalization

Chapter 6 goes through the three psychological needs, which relate to the organismic approach to motivation, autonomy, competence, and relatedness. People have a natural motivation to accomplish a challenge, but there is also the influence of environmental engagement that plays a key role in if a person will attempt a challenge again. If people within an environment are supportive, then an individual will feel more inclined to continuously attempt a challenge until they succeed—even if they are on a continuum where they have been failing (synthesis). When an individual is within a no supportive motivational environment, the individual will regress and discontinue their attempts at a challenge (conflict). While reading this chapter I thought a lot about the environments that Olympians grew up in order to get to the place they are at now—attempting to become a worldwide champion in a specific event.

I found the most surprising thing to read about within chapter 6 is the section on pg 162 about providing explanatory rationales. I work at EPI in Waterloo and find that the best ways to encourage individuals to participate within a task are to help them identify the meaning and value of the task at hand, and what outcomes lay ahead. This emphasizes the importance of autonomy, especially within a community of individuals who live with an intellectual disability. Like a high intellectual functioning individual, those with TBI or ID appreciate a reasoning versus a “because I said so” attitude when navigating challenges faced.

When rating myself for autonomy, I would say that I am someone with medium levels of autonomy. I say this because I am very aware of the causal source of my personal motivated actions if I chose to take action or not. The conundrum of choice can somewhat distract me, but I do well if I am given an “either-or” scenario when laying out a plan of action to take towards a goal. I personally perform best with supportive autonomy—I am really bad about not giving myself enough credit or recognition, but hearing encouragement from other does motivate me to continue challenging myself or working towards a specific goal

When rating myself for competence, I rate myself medium. I enjoy seeking out different challenges and activities but really enjoy working as a team towards goals as well. I greatly appreciate feedback and constructive criticism from my peers, mainly because I do enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives on ideas, and may build off of them in order to fit my value (I can see this crossing over with supporting autonomy in a way.) I am someone who doesn’t like to voice their opinion unless I have factual evidence or feel confident enough to back up my opinion with reliable sources, while I think it can be easy for those who have high levels of competence are not always voicing accurate information.

When rating myself for relatedness, I rate myself medium. I do a really great job of interacting with others in a caring manner, showing that I do care about my friends’ well-being and expressing my appreciation for them. However, I struggle with letting other people maintain a social bond with me. I am someone who is very private (and almost secretive) about my emotions, which I know can be discouraging for those who consider me one of their close friends.

One of my goals for the new semester is to work on my relatedness with others. My father died two months ago and I have recently joined a grief counseling group. It was somewhat intimidating for me to think about sitting together with a community of people and building a bond with them, but it has been satisfying to hear that there are other people who are in similar situations as myself (communal relationships). This motivates me to continue my grieving process, knowing that it’s never really over.

Supporting Autonomy
Providing Explanatory Rationales
The Condundrum of Choice
Challenge and Feedback
Social Bond
Communal and Exchange Relationships

Ch 6 is about psychological needs, which the book puts into three main categories. Autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These three categories lead to our daily lives and how we navigate them. The book covers what can make or break someone’s day, based on how and when something happened to them. If someone wins the lottery, but drops their Jimmy Johns, it is still going to be a good day even though something negative happened. We are more affected by our environment than we think, and daily tasks can build us up, or break us down.

The most surprising thing to me was how much we are influenced by our day to day lives. If nothing happens, little things can give you a bad attitude. If something great happens, you may shrug off something that normally would have upset you because you are too busy with what the great thing was. This is interesting because people spend so much time at work, commuting, or sleeping that I could see how people get angry when one is interrupted.

I would rate myself as high in autonomy. I like to be doing my own thing, and do not mind being by myself or with just a few people even if the task may be easier with a group. My favorite hobby and thing I spend most of my day doing is working with cars. When I am at home, I usually spend at least a few nights a week cleaning, or fixing something on our project cars. It is soothing to see a problem, and fix it. It keeps me away from the daily chaos and helps me stay relaxed. I like to get my hands dirty and tear stuff apart, even though I don’t know why, because I do not like doing work around the house. For competence, I would rate myself medium because I am not concerned with being competent in things I do not care about. If something comes up I do not think I will need in the future, it is hard for me to be engaged and learn it because it does not interest me. For relatedness I would also rate myself as a medium, because everyone wants to have some friends, but I would rather have a few good ones than a ton of acquaintances. My social bonds are few, but strong. I have always been this way, which is why I feel alright being quiet in class, because my desire to make new acquaintances is low if I do not think I will see them again.

Varying levels of my psychological needs manifest themselves in my day to day life in many ways. I need autonomy in that I would not like to have a drill sergeant following me, commanding my every move. Eating at the dining center gives me choice, and choosing what to do in my free time keeps me sane. My competence shows everyday in my classes because as a senior I have taken enough to have a grip on a concept even if it was not covered yet in the class. My relatedness shows everyday in my interactions with roommates and friends, and the tones of those interactions can set how my day will go.

The psychological need I chose was competence. I chose this one because I would rather be good at a few things than a little good at everything. I spend a lot of time on things I care about, and trying to learn new things each day. Everyone wants to be good at something, because it gives you a place and a personality. Usually people like things they are good at, or become good at them. Walk into a college dorm and you will see based on what is on the walls what the person likes, and probably is good at.
The fish picture is related to this chapter because the fish has everything it needs to survive in the bowl, but decides to jump out anyway because he is alone and there is literally nothing else in the bowl. The fish is like humans in that we desire to not only survive, but make a mark and leave a legacy.

Psychological needs
Social bond

Chapter 6 focuses on the psychological needs which are organismic needs that able us to interact and react to conditions within the environment to help us grow and change. The three types of organismic psychological needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Autonomy being our desire for the freedom to make decisions, this is like when children decide that they want to do things on their own. When I turned 18 I felt that I could make my decisions better than my parents ever could for me. I wanted the freedom to do things on my own and start to be my very own person. This really is only the beginning for autonomy because it will only continue to grow throughout our lives. Competency is being able to do a task and finish it. Competency tells us that without it, we would have no sense of urgency for finishing a task and making it successful. You would need it for creating a woodworking project to follow directions and placing the nails in the correct spots to finish the project. Relatedness is the desire of engaging yourself socially and interacting with others to feel connected with them. People use relatedness to find friends and become close with other people. An example would be joining an organization filled with people raising awareness all for the same mission.
The most surprising part of this chapter is the influences that choice has on us. It is interesting to learn about how setting up options can influence us and persuade another person one way or another. Choice gives us freedom to choose what we want but can also limit us. For example, if I said, “Do you want to go to McDonalds and get a smoothie for a snack?” you would be limited to a smoothie from McDonalds. If I said, “Do you want to get a smoothie for a snack?” you would have many more options to choose from. You would also have more input and control of what you where you go and what kind of smoothie you get.
If I had to rate myself as high, medium or low for the psychological needs it would look like this:
Autonomy= high Competency= high Relatedness= medium/high.
I believe that I would be high autonomy because I have always had a desire to want to be on my own. I believe that I make my own decisions and am good at being my own person. Even when I was a toddler I liked to pick out my own clothes, feed myself, and say NO and do what I wanted to do. I also have high competency because I believe I have a sense for what I need to do to make something successful in a timely manner. I have a sense of urgency for tasks that need to be finished. I enjoy doing projects that result in finding a solution or seeing a great outcome. I think relatedness is medium/high for me because I like to feel like I belong but not too much. I have found an organization on campus that has brought me a lot of great people and made me feel like I fit in.
Specifically, relatedness is medium/high for me on the scale because Dance Marathon is that organization that helps me feel at home on UNI’s campus. I serve on the exec board creating friendships from all different parts of the organization. I am a shy person, but taking on a leadership role in a well-known organization across campus has forced me out of my comfort zone and into friendships with all kinds of students.
My guess for the picture is that the fish bowl is his home, and he has spent a great amount of his time working up to get the momentum to ditch the bowl and go for it. He has created a psychological need to escape his home and do what he wants. His high autonomy has made him do it on his own, his high competency has found him wanting to succeed on the outside, and his high relatedness has made him want to socially interact with others on the outside his fish bowl.

terms: autonomy, competence, relatedness, psychological needs, organismic, flow

Chapter Six seeks to further describe psychological needs, and how the push and pull of these things in society play a part in guiding our behavior. In order to describe this, the chapter focused on three main divisions of psychological needs. These are autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Through these, we base our behavior because of both events that occur from ourselves and also events in the environment. Autonomy is a desire to have the flexibility of both choice and decision making. As humans, we have a need to be in control om subjects of who does what, when to do it, and how to do it. In other words, we want our interests, wants, and desires to be connected to our behavior rather than separated. Volition is one of three qualities that define the subjective experience of autonomy. Volition is an unpressured willingness to engage in an activity, and is triggered when either a person is freely engaging in an activity or pressured to do so. Autonomy is applied in the real world to work positions such as teachers, parents, and coaches who have a leadership responsibility. Autonomy assists them in being of charge of others and maximizing their employees’ performance. Competence is the next division of autonomy. It is a desire to be challenged and the act of applying ourselves to overcome these obstacles. However, the challenge can neither be too great or too little or else we get discouraged from the activity altogether. When the challenge is at optimal level, these creates a flow of behavior. The act of getting feedback from this process helps with future challenges that we encounter in our lives. Relatedness is the final division described in Chapter Six. Relatedness is the psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people, and in turn reflects the desire to be connected in our social circles. Through this process, we learn who we like to be around and who we do not. Quality, however, plays a bigger role than quantity regarding relatedness. One good example of this is marriage. Although the marriage may be full of interaction with each other’s friends, if the marriage itself is failing, then it will be emotionally unsatisfying.
One concept that was surprising in this chapter was learning not all choices promote autonomy. It would make sense that by offering a choice to someone, they would be granted the power of feeling they get to do what they want. But I learned this is not always the case with either or situations. After reflecting, it made sense since individuals sometimes feel pressured to make a choice, especially in situations with ultimatums.
My autonomy rating, in my opinion, would either be a medium or low. I have rarely been in a position of authority, but with cases of being a captain of my high school soccer team, and being a supervisor in my last job, I was shown the skills needed to be in a position of power and to do so effectively. My competence rating would be a high, since I am challenged often whether it be homework or a job. I have learned I work best under pressure and if I am not feeling pressured, I feel discouraged from doing the activity. Finally, I would rate my relatedness as high. I always have a need to feel like I belong in an activity or else I question, “What’s the point?” Also, I have always tried to further improve my close relationships instead of worrying with trying to be friends with everyone.
The fish in the bowl was an interesting picture. The first thing that came to mind, being born in the 90s, was the similar image of Free Willy attempting to jump the mound of rocks in order to get out of captivity and into the open ocean. To relate it to Chapter Six, the concept of volition came to mind. Since the fish is in an environment where he is not free to do anything without being assisted by his owner, he feels pressured into action and therefore attempts to jump out of the bowl.
Psychological Needs
Conundrum of Choice

There are three central psychological needs mentioned and defined in chapter six. These three needs include autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The basic motivation for these three specific needs to be met arises from the built in psychological motivators that help us desire to learn, grow, and develop in our environment. The fight for fulfilling autonomy, competence, and relatedness is greatly affected by the environment that the individual is placed in. Whether the environment fails or succeeds at engaging these needs, the psychological needs are specifically important to an individual’s ability to grow and be challenged.

Autonomy is defined as the choice one is able to make on their own in making decisions and being flexible. An individual has the ability to choose to do whatever they want, when they want to do it, and how. Psychologically, we get to be the ones to dictate our own behavior contrary to being forced into certain behaviors by outside demands. Autonomy is one’s freedom from having to do the opposite of what your preferences, interests, wants, and desires would rather have you do. This psychological need plays a big role in my daily habitual behaviors. I tend to be extremely independent with my time and how I spend it each and every day. I prefer not to waste my time and enjoy filling it up with things I want to do instead of being committed to various obligations that I personally would believe to be a waste of time. So if I were to wake up tomorrow, and feel like going to class would be a waste of my time because I could go get coffee and be more productive by getting homework done during that time, I would autonomously decide to do that whether I’m supported by my peers or not.

Competence is the need in which we hope to accurately and productively interact with the environment. By having this desire, we choose to do things that help us learn and understand certain things about the environment, and by learning these things we can increase our capabilities and strive for excellency. The excellency that is achieved provides a strong sense of satisfaction that leads us to continue developing certain skills and interests.

Relatedness is the need deriving from social interaction and the desire to connect with other people. Relationships and friendships are the sources of meeting this need. People want to know other people and be known by other people because it gives a sense of acceptance and value. In the knowing that occurs between people, there is an emotional attachment that happens as people become closer to each other and spend time with each other. These social bonds that are formed are necessary growth and many find it hard to break those social bonds.

Personally, I would definitely rate myself high on both autonomy and relatedness, but would rate myself medium for competence because I am less consistent in being motivated to seek growth in competency rather than autonomy and relatedness. I love my independence and ability to make decisions based on what I believe is important and life-giving, and I also love relationships and connecting deeply with other people on an emotional and spiritual level. Though competency is more inconsistent in my life, there are specific things in my job that I am required to consistently be competent in.

Controlling motivating style
Autonomy-supportive style
Psychological needs
Organismic needs

Chapter six goes in depth into the topics of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, which were introduced briefly to readers in chapter five. This current chapter states autonomy is having a freedom of choice, or the option to do as we please (pg. 145). The book also declares that competence is the psychological need to be effective in interactions with the environment (pg. 155) and that relatedness is the need to be a part of meaningful relationships where affection is reciprocated (pg. 161). The text then goes on to say that all three of these elements combine with relationships and social factors to form engagement.

The most surprising thing I learned is that there is an organismic source, or life line, behind why people do what they do. If motivation is organismic, then a person is simply engaging in a behavior because they want to; on the other hand, if motivation is mechanical that means the environment is offering stimulus and the person is reacting to that stimulus (pg. 143). This sounds rather similar to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and I would like to learn more about how the topics may be interrelated.

If I had to rate myself as high, medium, or low on the various psychological needs I would place myself very high for competence and relatedness, but in the medium to low area when it comes to autonomy.

Starting with autonomy, I like instruction and would actually prefer to be told what to do and how to do it so that I do not have to make decisions for my own because I personally strongly dislike making any sort of decision. I have found that when other people are happy, I am happy, so I could not care less about doing what I want; I want to do what others want so we can all be happy.

As for competence, I want to be remembered by everyone; I want people to know my name for good reasons. Currently, the Winter Olympics are taking place, now I have the sudden urge to learn how to snow board in order to be the next Chloe Kim. Have I ever been on a snow board before? No, but I feel as if now is a good time to begin learning how to do a Mc-Twist. Unfortunately, the odds of me winning a gold medal at the Winter Olympics are not in my favor, but it is a nice thought to have.

Lastly, relatedness is important to me because I am a social person. I love meeting new people and I take great offense when people do not like me because I give, and give, and give to others emotionally and physically in order to please them. In my personal life, I have struggled to find someone who reciprocates the amount of affection and attention I give, so from now on, I have decided to try (key work is try) to only give what I get. We will see how far I get with it because like I said, I am a giver, not a taker.

Jumping off of the topic of relatedness in my personal life, the desire to have affection reciprocated to me results in me going above and beyond for those whom I care about, even when they have openly and repeatedly expressed that they do not feel as strongly towards me as I do towards them. Not receiving affection in return also lead me to terminate a relationship in order for both of us to figure out what we wanted out of a relationship, because being the only one putting effort into a relationship was simply exhausting.

As for the fish picture (for the record, I was searching the book for the picture because the Word document picture is covering the fish picture. I thought I was losing my mind). I believe the fish is jumping out of the water impulsively. If the fish were to think ahead, it would realize, “There is not another bowl for me to jump into. I will die without water. Maybe I should stay in the bowl I am in.” But when people think impulsively, they usually do not think the whole situation through, just like the fish may be doing.



Chapter 6 was by far the most interesting section for me in this book. It examines the motivational significance of the three psychological needs: autonomy, competence and relatedness. Psychological needs are proactive, they are understood by an organismic approach as growth needs, that organisms must develop so that new skills, interests and new ways of adjusting to the environment emerge. On the other hand, physiological needs (discussed in chapter 4) are reactive, they are seen as deficit needs by a mechanistic approach where there is a one-way relationship between the environment and the person.
When people have environments that support their psychological needs, they feel positive emotions, optimal experience and healthy development. It is important to mention that is not the environment itself what leads to these feelings, but the perceived outcomes of the environment.
Autonomy is the need to experience freedom in our decisions about how to spend our time. The subjective experience of autonomy is guided by the perceived locus of causality, volition and perceived choice. There are four essential ways of supporting autonomy, these are 1) nurturing inner motivational resources, 2) relying on informational language, 3) providing explanatory rationales and 4) acknowledging accepting negative affect.
The second need is the need of competence. To be competent, people interact effectively with their surroundings and into all aspects of their lives. The environmental conditions related to competence are optimal challenge, structure, and failure tolerance. Perception of progress and positive feedback satisfy this type of need.
The most surprising thing that I learned in this chapter is the need for relatedness. I found very interesting the requirements of a social bond in order to satisfy this need: “The social bond needs to be characterized by the perceptions of the other person (1) cares about my welfare and (2) likes me”. I thought that the need for relatedness could be nurtured with simple social interaction and exchange relationships.
I don't know if the question about rating myself in the psychological needs refers to the importance or value that I give to this needs, or my ability to nurture them. I would say that I consider autonomy as a very important key to construct my goals, because I really want the freedom to decide about my choices and my time. On the other hand, I sometimes have many choices in front of me and feel overwhelmed, which decreases my decision making capacity, so I would consider myself low in nurturing this need.
When it comes to competence, I don’t find this need that important. I would say that I have a high self-esteem when facing challenges so I don't really have the desire to show myself that I am competent in most challenges.
Relatedness is a very important need for me at the moment. As I am an exchange student, I had to make new social bonds with people. My ability to nurture the need is pretty high because I have found people that care about my welfare and that like me, but I don’t deeply satisfy this need. I don’t have relationships where I can show my true self and where is deemed to be important in the eyes of another person. I would say that the main reasons of this issue could be cultural differences, language problems or just that I have not found people to show my true self to. As this is the need that I currently care the most about, it motivates and energizes me to be more extrovert with people, attend to more social events and try to make new friends.
If I had to make a guess about the picture shown, I would say that the fish jumping out of the fishbowl represents the search of new environmental stimuli that nurture its needs. This needs could be physiological (the fish has no food) or psychological (the fish has desire for a relationship), in case that animals had this kind of needs.

Terms used:
Organismic approach
Growth needs
Mechanistic approach
Locus of causality
Perceived choice
Optimal challenge
Failure tolerance
Perception of progress
Positive feedback
Exchange relationships

Chapter six spend its focus on psychological needs in three main categories: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. While we talked about our physiological needs such as hunger and thirst in the last chapter, in chapter six we look at how our psychological impulses determine our motivations. The chapter began with talking about autonomy, which is having the freedom to make our own decisions. Having a good amount of autonomy means a person has the “self-determination” to make choices for themselves. One thing that interested me about autonomy was the fact that not all choices promote it. For example, when we are given multiple choice questions, we tend to feel a larger pressure to choose the “right” answer, versus being asked a creative or open-ended question that we have to find our own answer for. Before reading this section, I would have thought that all choices would give us a certain amount of autonomy by making us think about whatever we were being asked. Autonomy leads the chapter to the controlling motivating style, which involves four phases- nurturing inner motivational resources, relying on informational language, providing explanatory rationales, and acknowledging and accepting negative affect. I would say that I have a high level of autonomy, because I rely completely on myself for most of my things, and that gives me a sense of freedom or self-determination about my choices.
The second category that we learned about was competence—also known as our effectiveness in being able to perform activities. While we enjoy being competent at the things we do, the book also talked about positive feedback, which can come from the action we are doing, comparing our new stats to our previous stats, comparing our performance with another’s, and our evaluations of others. This was a part in our chapter that I would like to learn more about, because does one feedback mean more than another, or affect us differently? In this category I would rate myself as high, because I have a tendency to want to master whatever I learn. I don’t like to be bad at things, but I do like to be able to learn new skills.
The third topic is relatedness, which is the ability to form emotional bonds with others. This section interests me the most because it has to do with how people interact with each other in order to form these bonds or friendships. I would say I’m a medium in this category, as I have no problems talking and relating to people, but I do have problems going out of my way to get to know people. Because of this odd combination, I will go to parties and stand by the drinks until someone else strikes up conversation, or I will go to class and sit close to the back until I see somebody that I know to make conversation with. I think that the fish in the logo has a lot to do with competence. It doesn’t have the sense or abilities to be competent in the bowl, so it uses its autonomy to jump out of the fishbowl in order to fulfill its psychological needs.

Controlling motivating style

Chapter 6 mostly focused on a person’s psychological needs and why these needs are very important in order to perform certain tasks on daily basis. The chapter talks about three different psychological needs that are also known as organismic needs. The main reason behind this would be the environment that plays a very important role and why it’s important for us to adapt to this habitat. These psychological needs include, autonomy, competence and relatedness. The chapter also greatly focused on the concept of control motivating style and autonomy-supportive style. These two styles play a very big role when in comes to reacting to different stuff.

The most interesting that I found in this chapter was how these motivating styles can have a great effect on someone’s ability and his/her motivation towards a certain task. Autonomy-supportive style can be defined as a person’s eagerness to consider another person’s point of view and to value personal growth opportunities during an activity. Whereas, a controlled style is where a person pressurize the other person to perform a task and uses the social influence techniques to accomplish that intended socialization consequence. It is interesting to know the differences between these two styles that how one person can be very motivated to achieve his/her goal whereas the other person should be pressured and forced to perform a certain task. I really enjoyed learning about different types of styles and how they motivate a person to act in a certain way. I can definitely relate to these types of style very easily because I have seen it happen multiple times. I remember when I was in high school in New Jersey, my P.E teacher was very less encouraging. I could relate her to controlled style because she was way too finicky about how a tasks should be performed and her getting irritated and angry very quickly and easily whenever something went wrong. Because of having these aspects in her personality, I think she perfectly fit into a controlled motivating style category. But, one of my social studies teacher was totally opposite of my PE teacher. Her husband recently graduated from a medical school when I was in a junior year of high school. My teacher knew how bad I want to go to a medical school so she offered to give me many references through her husband who was pursuing and was specializing in pediatric neurologist. It made me very happy that she was offering help in every way that she could. In fact, her act of kindness encouraged me even more. Not only that, she encouraged me to do a job shadow at the same hospital where her husband was a resident. So I did for about 7-8 months before moving to Iowa.
Moreover, autonomy can be defined as the need to experience self-direction and person endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one’s behavior. I would rate myself about being medium because sometimes we all do something that we are not 100% aware or don’t have a very good understanding of why we did something that we did. An example of this would be when I started at Hawkeye Community College in Medical Administrative Assistant. Even though I did have a passion to go into medical field, but it was never to be a administrative assistant. I finished my two semester and changed my major right away to Pre-med because I knew it wasn’t for me.

The next important need is competence. Competence is the need to be effective in interactions with the environment, and it reflects the desire to exercise one’s capacities and skills. Also seeking out and master optimal challenges. I would say that I do have a high competence because not only I love learning about new skills and techniques, but I love to continue to keep learning and applying those abilities to the different tasks I perform on daily basis. For example, one of hobby was to learn how to paint and draw. So I used to paint all the time. I would say it is one of my passion now to spend my spare time in doing so. It not only keeps me busy, but I get to draw and paint my imagination on a canvas.

The final need is called relatedness.This is the need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people, and it reflects the desire to be emotionally connected to and interpersonally involved in warm relationships. I would say that I can definitely relate to this because I can establish a close emotional bond with someone very easily. It does not take a long time before I start to feel the attachment with another person, whether if it’s a friend, relative or even if it’s just a stranger who happen to have a conversation with me.

Furthermore, I would say that the competence is a key role that plays an important role in my life on different aspects. It motivates me to do something that I not only want to, but I really need to as well. For example, going to school, getting good grades, and graduating with a BA degree so I can pursue my goals. I must say, it hasn’t been easy, but I can surely say that it’ll be all worth it at the end.
Terms Used:
Controlling motivating style
Autonomy-supportive style
Psychological needs
Organismic needs

Chapter six is separated into three different concepts within the major topic of Psychological Needs. These include the concepts of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The author explains how psychological needs overall are critical to our understanding of motivation. We see how the needs we have are much different than those of nature. The needs that we develop psychologically are proactive and provide us with the desire and willingness to go out and perform a certain task that we hope will nurture those needs that we strive to obtain.
For autonomy, the desire to have the choice to do something, the chapter explains that when we have certain needs we want the opportunity to decide for ourselves to spend time on the task. This meaning, for example, that we would much rather want to take out the trash to have our room look clean than have someone else tell us our room is dirty and we have to take out the trash. When we experience autonomy we are making decisions based on our own wants and desires. During this section of the chapter a section that was interesting to me was the conundrum of choice. This concept elaborated on the idea that we experience the conundrum of choice when we have a 100% choice over the decisions and actions that we take (this is all within autonomy). The chapter continues with how autonomy is consistently being supported and we have the want to keep it going. The author explains that autonomy not only relies on informational language (constructive criticism), but also understands and invites negative affect. This meaning that individuals who are presented with negative affect with high autonomy usually will see the activity they are being asked to be involved in as not being worth their time (although the feelings are valid).
Next with competence the chapter defines it as the psychological need to feel that they know what exactly is going on in their interactions and to have effective interactions as well. Within this particular concept the topic of failure tolerance caught my attention. This concept basically highlights the idea that we tend to learn more when we fail then when we are successful. I thought this was interesting because I had always heard motivational speakers say this but never really read it through a textbook. Along with competence the chapter also highlights relatedness. This is simply the need to belong. We all have the desire to be liked and to be relatable to people around us. Nobody likes being the outsider, at least not for everything. This concept elaborates on the interactions we make with people around us and how we create social bonds due to our need to have these connections psychologically. This meaning that our brain and psychological make up have the need to make friends and have strong social groups to feel apart of. The section that stood out to me in this portion was the section about internalization. This is basically the internal process that someone goes through when they try and create a new habit or regulation that was not originally one of their own but now have the need for the new behavior because of the individuals they are surrounding themselves with.
On a personal level I would rate myself medium in autonomy, high in relatedness and medium in competence. In my everyday life I have thoroughly enjoy being able to make my own decisions and being able to map out my life based on the choices I make very single day. With competence, I enjoy understanding what the people around me are talking about, but on the other hand I also love to learn and that sometimes mean not knowing much of what the people are talking about. Lastly, with relatedness, I have bad FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and I have the desire for people to enjoy my presence and that often means being able to relate to anyone. Personally, I give tours of campus and I always try to relate something about the students or families to something about myself. With the need for relatedness, I have the strong motivation to learn as much as I can about the people who are around me. The more I know about others the more I can relate. For example if I meet someone who has an interest in something foreign to me such as, Fencing, I can then learn a little bit about that and possibly relate that knowledge onto someone who may have an interest. I strive to meet this need because I love interacting with new people and I feel that it can help me so much in the business world as well as the social world.
For the fish picture I would guess that the fish jumping out of the bowl is a metaphor for coming out of your shell, just in this case its a bowl (aka the fish’s comfort zone). Personally I have had a fish jump out of the bowl and its kinda scary.

Failure tolerance
Informational language
Conundrum of choice

Chapter six discusses psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. With biological needs, the environment acts and the person reacts; with psychological needs, the acts of the environment and person are reciprocal (person-environment dialectic). Perceived autonomy is based on internal perceived locus of causality (internal and external motivational agent), volition (unpressured willingness/free will), and perceived choice over one’s actions (desire decision-making flexibility). Autonomy-supportive people inquire, listen, support, and aim to protect a person’s autonomy, while the controlling style is direct and demanding, using threats and motivating people by creating feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. Competence is important because it involves the development of skills and improvement of capacities, talents, and potential, seeking out and mastering challenges. Flow occurs when a person uses their skills to overcome a challenge; it’s most effective when the challenge is high, yet being careful not to overchallenge, which can negatively impact competence (failure). Feedback is important to competence, necessary for a person to perceive challenge, compare, learn, and experience competence. Relatedness is our need to belong and have social interactions, friendships, relationships, and emotional connectedness.
For autonomy, I would rate myself medium. Right now, I am going to school, which decreases my autonomy. I have quite a bit of autonomy (choosing who I live and spend my free time with, selecting an internship in a personal area that interests me, freedom to spend my free time how I desire), but in other ways, I am lacking autonomy, feeling a bit controlled/constrained (need to live near campus, have to take certain classes to attain degree, required to work on homework on “free” nights). I would rate myself as moderate for competence, yet it would depend on what kind of competence was in question. For example, my competence in music is high, financial literacy is high, academic advising is moderate, and sports are low. There’s always room to grow, but I strive to be highly competent in my work and intrinsic motivations. For relatedness, I rate myself high. In CliftonStrenths, relator, connectedness, empathy, and communication are among my top ten strengths, which all promote relatedness. I thrive on relationships and go to great lengths to sustain them.
One thing that surprised me in the text was the information about perceived choice and how it relates to autonomy. People like to feel like they’re determining their own actions. This is something that I’ve thought about in the past, but I’ve never seen it in writing. It confirmed my thoughts/suspicions about how choices have a positive impact on motivation. For one year, I worked one-on-one with a third-grade student with special needs. He fought when I tried to give him directions, so I quickly figured out that he responded much better when I provided him with choices and wasn’t constantly telling him what to do. I gave him choice options for things that made no difference in my eyes (where we would physically be located while he worked on his grammar homework, which homework assignment he would work on first, what type of reward he would receive if he reached his goal behavior/academic “score” for the day, etc.). I now have words and reasoning behind why this tactic worked for me. I was being autonomy-supportive, which is in my nature, and it was effective because my student responded well to choices and autonomy. He took pride in his decision-making abilities, making choices that would intrinsically motivate himself. Even though they were not “important” decisions to me, they were important decisions for him. In theory, this decision-making autonomy should relate to college students and adults as well. I need to keep this in mind as I work with college-level students, attempting to get students engaged and involved on campus and attempting to increase retention rates.
If I were to make a guess on why the fish is jumping out of the water and how it is related to our content, I would say that the fist is striving for autonomy. The fish does not want to be told what to do, nor be constrained by the typical fish’s environmental conditions of water; the fish wants to jump and is acting on its free will to jump, motivated intrinsically and functioning autonomously.

Terms: psychological needs, autonomy, competence, relatedness, biological needs, person-environment dialectic, perceived autonomy, internal perceived locus of causality, volition, perceived choice, autonomy-supportive

Leave a comment

Recent Entries

Welcome to Motivation & Emotion!
Welcome to Motivation & Emotion! All of your assignments are here; you will only go to eLearning to check your…
Using Movies
Please read the following link: as well as the 3 resource links at the bottom of that article.This semester's movies:Teen DreamsCast…
Ch 1 & 2 Introduction and Perspectives
Read Ch 1 and Ch 2 in your textbook. Don't worry so much about your answers being beautifully written (yet!); focus on reading…