Intrinsic versus extrinsic goals, need satisfaction, and well-being: Longitudinal dynamics among college students
Self-Determination Theory distinguishes extrinsic from intrinsic goals. A more intrinsic goal orientation would facilitate need satisfaction, which would, in turn, increase well-being. Simultaneously, need satisfaction would facilitate a more intrinsic goal orientation. Results of a first longitudinal study among college students (N = 371) showed that attaching greater importance to intrinsic than extrinsic goals increased need satisfaction, but this resulted from rather than predicted well-being. The hypothesis that need satisfaction directly affects relative goal importance was not supported. Results of a second study (N = 501) did not replicate the effect of relative goal importance on need satisfaction, but, together with results of an additional diary study (N = 417), did expose a mechanism through which need satisfaction affects relative goal importance. Specifically, lack of need satisfaction decreased self-esteem on a day-to-day basis. Low self-esteem then predicted over-time increases in contingent self-esteem, which, in turn, predicted increases in the importance attached to extrinsic goals.
Duriez, B., & Klimstra, T. (2011). Intrinsic versus extrinsic goals, need satisfaction, and well-being: Longitudinal dynamics among college students. KULeuven: Internal report.