To be self- determined is to endorse one's actions at the highest level of reflection.
When self determined , people experience a sense of freedom to do what is interesting, personally important and vitalizing - Deci and Ryan
Self Determination theory examines factors which affect our intrinsic motivation to engage in positive and meaningful behavior.
What about negative behavior ? Can people who are involved in negative behaviors be also intrinsically motivated ?
B - People who are self determined are connected to their inner beings , reflect on their actions on higher levels and try to inject values and meaning when engaging the world.
They are 'subjects' who give of themselves , rather than objects.
When people are involved in drugs , negative sexual relationships , unhealthy eating etc they are not self determined or intrinsically motivated. Why not ? Do they not find drugs , eating and sex intrinsically rewarding ?
They do get pleasure -------- but as objects .
Their actions are not an expression of freedom and choice but the drugs, sex and food create an illusion of a need. When we put a packet of sweets before a kid , the all powerful candy makes the choice, not the kid, the kid is merely being manipulated .
This is not being self determined or a subject , but an object . When we use rewards or other extrinsic motivators we turn people into objects. A choice made by an ' object ' is not an expression of freedom and choice.
( Here imho SDT differs from Glasser's Choice theory , Glasser seeing the man=object making a choice )
People can become subjects even when it comes to very physical activities like eating, drinking , having sex or other activities that care of our physical survival .
When they imbue these activities with dignity , values, caring for others and spirituality , they connect with their inner beings and operate in a self determined way. If we operate only on a physical dimension we are essentially objects being fed, stimulated etc
ON second thoughts if we deny that people have a divine spark or soul, we could say that there inner beings are the source of their values and the actions of these evil people , like genocide may be intrinsically motivated.