Our topic today is the topic that started the work on self-determination theory, Intrinsic Motivation. Intrinsic motivation is something that we began setting because we thought it was such an important expression of the active human nature that we all have. When we're intrinsically motivated, we're doing something because of the inherent enjoyment of the activity itself, because we're enjoying the challenge, because we're passionate about the topic or because we just want to learn something new, and it's pervasive life, we see it in all kinds of different endeavors. Perhaps the best example or prototype of intrinsic motivation is children's play. If we just let children loose, the first thing they do is go find a way to play, they want to engage the environment around them, they want to manipulate things, they want to try things out, and if we look for instance at this child who's in the sandbox, he's manipulating the sand and while he's doing so, there's a great deal of learning going on, he's learning about physics, he's learning about the world around him, he's probably learning about social relationships in the sandbox itself, and all of that good stuff that's happening now, is happening only because he's motivated to have fun, if went over to him and we said hey, you know this playing in the sand is really good for your brain, this wouldn't add to his enjoyment, and even more so if we went over and said we like the way you're playing in the sand, keep playing and we'll pay you for it, he would probably like them money but it wouldn't add to his enjoyment or his persistence likely in the sand. Intrinsic motivation is just the doing of things because of that enjoyment, just plays such an important function in our development, and our revitalization all across life, and we might think of this as a particularly human attribute, our curiosity, our engagement with the environment, but it's really something that's a kin with all primates, in fact the term intrinsic motivation was coined by as far as we know, Harry Harlow who was a primatologist, because he was observing in his chimpanzees just how active and engaged they were in playing with the environment, and he was the first person to notice that when you started to reward chimpanzees or other primates for this playful engagement it will actually disrupt, and sometimes terminate their play rather than enhance it. Intrinsic motivation is, as I said really important to learning, and in fact most developmental psychologists think that most of the learning that goes on in our life is intrinsically motivated in nature. So, we learn just because we take interest in something and environment, when I read the newspaper in the morning is not because it's going to help me and my job particularly or it's going to increase my pay. It's because I'm just interested and enjoy learning about the world around us. So, most of our cognitive growth comes through intrinsic motivation. Even in schools where there's not always a high degree of intrinsic motivation, it turns out that students intrinsic motivation is probably the single best predictor of their engagement, and therefore of their ultimate achievement of all the different kinds of motivation, we can measure it directly predicts GPA, it also directly predicts other kinds of achievement outcomes as recent research has shown, and unfortunately, we don't harness intrinsic motivation enough in our school, so as a lot of research around the world show, students usually start school in kindergarten, with a high degree of intrinsic motivation, and just plummets across the school year is going down, and down, and down until it levels out usually around tenth grade for most students, which means we're not taking this evolutionary engine of learning and putting it to much use in our schools. This is part of what got us originally interested in intrinsic motivation. We thought how can we promote this more, what is it that students need in a classroom or workers need in a workplace, in order to become more curious, more persistent than their engagement, and to gain that confidence, and competence that comes with intrinsic motivation. So in our early work we devised a theory that's called cognitive evaluation theory, and it's the first of the SDT many theories and it's a pretty simple theory in its broad strokes that says, we'll be intrinsically motivated when we can feel secure and connected with the other people around us, so we don't have to be worried or anxious, more proximately to be intrinsically motivated we have to feel like we can be effective in what we're doing, and competent at what we're up to, which means we need optimal challenges rather than things that are way too easy, because that's boring or things that are way too hard, because that's too anxiety provoking, and doesn't sustain interest over time, and finally, we thought that to be intrinsically motivated, you really have to feel that the activity's coming from yourself, that it's something you're doing willingly or volitionally, so anything that supports the sense of autonomy should enhance intrinsic motivation, and things that undermine the sense of autonomy should diminish it. Now, how do we know this? Well, we know this because we do a lot of laboratory experimentation as well as field experimentation. I want to tell you a little bit about the laboratory experiments just so you can get a sense of how they work. So, we might for instance bring a student into a laboratory setting, and give them an activity that we've already tested to be particularly interesting to students, so it might be a puzzle activity or reading or some other interesting activity, and then we have them engage in that activity and a couple of conditions, in one condition for instance you might say well this puzzle that you're doing is something that is a good measure of intelligence, so we're going to be using it to gauge how intelligent you are, in other words, putting pressure on them to perform really well for self-esteem reason, and another condition we might say well this is a test that taps at different intellectual capacities, we are trying it as an experimental tasks, and just do the best you can, no pressure toward a particular outcome. So, we have people either in the pressure condition or no pressure condition, do the activity, at the end of it we tell them both, you did really well at that activity, so they can all feel competent. Then we make up an excuse why we need to leave them alone in the laboratory setting, and we say to them you know you can do more of this activity, there's more of those here on the table, but if you'd like until we come back you just read magazines or do other activities in the room. So when we're gone, they think there's no one watching, there is no one evaluating, they won't be getting rewards or punishments for their activity, so if they turn back to the activity, they're typically doing it out of interest. So, what we look at is the amount of time they spend on the target activity during what we call this free choice period, and it's kind of a gold standard of behavioral research on intrinsic motivation, and using that paradigm we find that when we put people under pressure, they are less likely to persist during free choice, when we put them under no pressure, they're much more likely to persist, if we give people choice about how they go about doing an activity, they're more likely to persist during free choice, but if we micromanage them or tell them what strategy to use or what goal to have or how to go about doing the task, this tends to take away their sense of autonomy, and then they're less persistent during free choice. When we put even people under surveillance just watching them close to, this tends to have people feel more controlled or externally pressured, and this will undermine their motivation during free choice. So, competence autonomy, relevant things have really shown themselves to be powerful in predicting free choice, but so have competence things. When we give people tasks that are too easy, again they don't persist because they're not that interested, but if we give them the stuff that's too hard or they haven't been able to master the task, and during free choice they're less likely to turn to it again, being less interested. Finally, when we just treat people in warm and inclusive ways, they tend to be more intrinsically motivated whereas when we treat them in a cold or a different matter, they tend to feel less secure and then be less intrinsically motivated in the laboratory setting. So, these kinds of factors, factors of pressure, factors of choice, factors of level of challenge, they all have an influence on the degree to which people will be intrinsically motivated. Just want to show you the importance of these kinds of factors in motivation through a pretty simple study, and it was a study that was done by Paloma Dominguez and her group, she's a dietitian. She was trying to take interest in what children are motivated to eat, and particularly getting children to eat their vegetables. This particular study, what Dominguez and her group did, is they brought kids into a laboratory setting, and in one condition they took two preferred vegetables that they already knew that they highly preferred, and they put both of them on their plate, and said, here is two vegetables you can eat as much or as little of each of them as you'd like, so it was a choice condition. In another condition they said, here is two vegetables which one would you like today, and they gave them one of the two vegetables that they chose. Again another choice condition. The third condition they just took one of these two preferred festivals for children, and they said here's your vegetable today, they put that on their plate and they watched how much children actually ate of the vegetables. In the figure that you have before you now, you can see that in the two choice conditions where children could either eat as much or as little of either vegetable or when they had the choice, they ate more vegetables than when they didn't have a choice, even when that vegetable was their preferred vegetable. So, the very fact of choice itself led the children to have a higher preference for this food, and to eat more of them. So, a short story here is, if you want your kids to eat vegetable give them some choice, but the larger story here is that the issue of choice is an issue that bears on human autonomy, and it will make a difference in terms of people's subsequent persistence. We've been able to show in classroom settings, for instance, where teachers give choices to students, the students are more engaged in activities, tend to see the teacher is even having more expertise, and that results in greater learning in the classroom. In all kinds of settings we find that, taking pressure off people, giving them more opportunities to direct their own work, will lead them to be more intrinsically motivated subsequently. We are going to talk a lot more about the things that help intrinsic motivation flourish, and also diminish it, but my message here is really that intrinsic motivation is an important part of our evolved nature. We are curious animals, we're interested and we want mastery of our environments but this intrinsic motivation is so important in our human nature is really sensitive to the environments in we're in. It's undermined when we're micromanaged, when were put under non-optimal challenges or we're putting other kinds of threatening contexts, and sometimes even something positive that befalls us can have a negative impact on our intrinsic motivation, and it's to that phenomenon I return next, when we look at how rewards can sometimes even when they're positive, undermine people's intrinsic motivation.