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Drill Science Corp's Overarching Cultural Value of Motivation
Self Determinism and Motivation and the Three Inherent Psychological Needs This scale assesses the strength of three different motivational orientations within an individual. These orientations, labeled Autonomy, Controlled, and Impersonal, are understood as relatively enduring aspects of personality, and each orientation is theorized to exist within each individual to some degree. There are three subscales to the measure, and a person gets a score on each subscale: The Autonomy Orientation assesses the extent to which a person is oriented toward aspects of the environment that stimulate intrinsic motivation, are optimally challenging, and provide informational feedback. A person high in autonomy orientation tends to display greater self-initiation, seek activities that are interesting and challenging, and take greater responsibility for his or her own behavior. The Controlled Orientation assesses the extent to which a person is oriented toward being controlled by rewards, deadlines, structures, ego-involvements, and the directives of others. A person high on the controlled orientation is likely to be dependent on rewards or other controls, and may be more attuned to what others demand than to what they want for themselves. In the U.S., at least, a person high in the controlled orientation is likely to place extreme importance on wealth, fame, and other extrinsic factors. The Impersonal Orientation assesses the extent to which a person believes that attaining desired outcomes is beyond his or her control and that achievement is largely a matter of luck or fate. People high on this orientation are likely to be anxious and to feel very ineffective. They have no sense of being able to affect outcomes or cope with demands or changes. They tend to be amotivated and to want things to be as they always were. The GCOS (Deci & Ryan, 1985a) is available in two forms. The original scale that is well validated and has been widely used consists of 12 vignettes and 36 items. Each vignette describes a typical social or achievement oriented situation (e.g., applying for a job or interacting with a friend) and is followed by three types of responses–an autonomous, a controlled, and an impersonal type. Respondents indicate, on 7-point Likert-type scales, the extent to which each response is typical for them. Higher scores indicate higher amounts of the particular orientation represented by the response. Thus, the scale has three subscales–the autonomy, the controlled, and the impersonal subscales–and subscale scores are generated by summing the individual’s 12 responses on items corresponding to each subscale. A description of the 12-vignette version of the scale construction appears in Deci and Ryan (1985) along with data that support the instrument’s reliability and validity. For example, the scale has been shown to be reliable, with Cronbach alphas of about 0.75 and a test-retest coefficient of 0.74 over two months, and to correlate as expected with a variety of theoretically related constructs. There is also a 17-vignette version of the scale (with 51 items). It has the original 12 vignettes and the original 36 items. However, 5 vignettes and 15 items (5 autonomy, 5 controlled, and 5 impersonal) have been added. The new vignettes and items are all about social-interactions because the original vignettes were heavily oriented toward achievement situations. The new vignettes with their items are scattered throughout, so the order of items is not the same in the two versions of the GCOS. The 17-vignette version has been used successfully in various studies (e.g., Hodgins, Koestner, & Duncan, 1996). Causality Orientations Theory presents a perspective on individuals’ general motivational orientations that is complimentary to the more domain-specific approach of the Self-Regulation Questionnaires (e.g., Ryan & Connell, 1989) which considers reasons for engaging in a particular behaviors such as doing one’s school work. According to the more general GCOS perspective, it is possible to assess an individual’s tendency to orient to and be guided by each of three general sources of behavioral regulation. High autonomy orientations have, in past research, been associated with higher levels of self-esteem, ego development, and self-actualization (Deci & Ryan 1985) as well as greater integration in personality (Koestner, Bernieri, & Zuckerman, 1992). Cardiac-surgery patients high on the autonomy orientation were found to view their surgery more as a challenge and to have more positive post-operative attitudes, whereas those low on the autonomy orientation viewed their surgery more as a threat and had more negative post-operative attitudes (King, 1984). The controlled orientation, in contrast, has been related to the Type-A, coronary prone behavior pattern and to public self-consciousness (Deci & Ryan, 1985). Finally, the impersonal orientation has been found to predict higher levels of social anxiety, depression, and self-derogation (Deci & Ryan, 1985), and to discriminate restrictive anorexic patients from patients with other subtypes of eating disorders and from matched comparison subjects (Strauss & Ryan, 1987).
   "DiPStick"
Assess Your Motivation and Self Determinism
These items pertain to a series of hypothetical sketches. Each sketch describes an incident and lists three ways of responding to it. Please read each sketch, imagine yourself in that situation, and then consider each of the possible responses. Think of each response option in terms of how likely it is that you would respond that way. (We all respond in a variety of ways to situations, and probably most or all responses are at least slightly likely for you.) If it is very unlikely that you would respond the way described in a given response, you should circle answer 1 or 2. If it is moderately likely, you would select a number in the mid range, and if it is very likely that you would respond as described, you would circle answer 6 or 7.

  1. You have been offered a new position in a company where you have worked for some time. The first question that is likely to come to mind is:
    1. What if I can't live up to the new responsibility?
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Will I make more at this position?
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. I wonder if the new work will be interesting.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  2. You have a school-age daughter. On parents' night the teacher tells you that your daughter is doing poorly and doesn't seem involved in the work. You are likely to:
    1. Talk it over with your daughter to understand further what the problem is.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Scold her and hope she does better.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Make sure she does the assignments, because she should be working harder.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  3. You had a job interview several weeks ago. In the mail you received a form letter which states that the position has been filled. It is likely that you might think:
    1. It's not what you know, but who you know.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. I'm probably not good enough for the job.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Somehow they didn't see my qualifications as matching their needs.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  4. You are a plant supervisor and have been charged with the task of allotting coffee breaks to three workers who cannot all break at once. You would likely handle this by:
    1. Telling the three workers the situation and having them work with you on the schedule.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Simply assigning times that each can break to avoid any problems.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Find out from someone in authority what to do or do what was done in the past.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  5. A close (same-sex) friend of yours has been moody lately, and a couple of times has become very angry with you over "nothing." You might:
    1. Share your observations with him/her and try to find out what is going on for him/her.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Ignore it because there's not much you can do about it anyway.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Tell him/her that you're willing to spend time together if and only if he/she makes more effort to control him/herself.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  6. You have just received the results of a test you took, and you discovered that you did very poorly. Your initial reaction is likely to be:
    1. "I can't do anything right," and feel sad.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. "I wonder how it is I did so poorly," and feel disappointed.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. "That stupid test doesn't show anything," and feel angry.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  7. You have been invited to a large party where you know very few people. As you look forward to the evening, you would likely expect that:
    1. You'll try to fit in with whatever is happening in order to have a good time and not look bad.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. You'll find some people with whom you can relate.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. You'll probably feel somewhat isolated and unnoticed.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  8. You are asked to plan a picnic for yourself and your fellow employees. Your style for approaching this project could most likely be characterized as:
    1. Take charge: that is, you would make most of the major decisions yourself.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Follow precedent: you're not really up to the task so you'd do it the way it's been done before.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Seek participation: get inputs from others who want to make them before you make the final plans.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  9. Recently a position opened up at your place of work that could have meant a promotion for you. However, a person you work with was offered the job rather than you. In evaluating the situation, you're likely to think:
    1. You didn't really expect the job; you frequently get passed over.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. The other person probably "did the right things" politically to get the job.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. You would probably take a look at factors in your own performance that led you to be passed over.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  10. You are embarking on a new career. The most important consideration is likely to be:
    1. Whether you can do the work without getting in over your head.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. How interested you are in that kind of work.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Whether there are good possibilities for advancement.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  11. A woman who works for you has generally done an adequate job. However, for the past two weeks her work has not been up to par and she appears to be less actively interested in her work. Your reaction is likely to be:
    1. Tell her that her work is below what is expected and that she should start working harder.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Ask her about the problem and let her know you are available to help work it out.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. It's hard to know what to do to get her straightened out.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
  12. Your company has promoted you to a position in a city far from your present location. As you think about the move you would probably:
    1. Feel interested in the new challenge and a little nervous at the same time.
    2. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    3. Feel excited about the higher status and salary that is involved.
    4. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
    5. Feel stressed and anxious about the upcoming changes.
    6. 1Very Unlikely
      2
      3Moderately Likely
      4
      5
      6Very Likely
      7
General Causality - Self Determinism Theory References
Leadership and fulfillment of the three basic psychological needs at work
General Causality Orientation Scale Explication
Self Determinism Professors
Self Determinism Publications
Basic Psychological Needs
Self Determinism Theory Overviews
Goals, Values and Aspirations
Culture, Motivation, Goals, Values and Aspirations and Leadership