Self-Determination Theory — I Choose You! The Limitations of Viewing Motivation in HCI Research Through the Lens of a Single Theory

Susanne Poeller, Cody J. Phillips

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We use a Pokémon allegory to illustrate that current approaches to applying Self-Determination Theory (SDT) are reinforcing bad practice. SDT is to motivation research in HCI what Pikachu is to Ash in the Pokémon animated series: important, reliable, and powerful. However, just like Pikachu has its weaknesses (i.e., ground-type Pokémon) and should not be sent into every single battle, SDT is not the right tool for every single research question. While motivation should be seen as a function of situation and person [8, 13], SDT does not account for interindividual differences in need strength. We note that important aspects of motivation as a construct (e.g., arousal, frustration, satiation) are currently neglected in HCI and advocate for more precision with the terminology (e.g., distinguishing motivation from volition, goals, abilities, and personality). Deepening our understanding of motivation can provide valuable insights to researchers in games and play. We also suggest alternative theories of motivation which can be adopted by games and play research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY '22
Subtitle of host publicationExtended Abstracts of the 2022 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
EditorsKathrin Gerling, Jo Iacovides, Rainer Malaka, Beth Bonsignore, Julian Frommel
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages261–262
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-9211-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2022
EventCHI PLAY '22: Extended Abstracts of the 2022 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play - Bremen, Germany
Duration: 3 Nov 20205 Nov 2020
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/3505270

Conference

ConferenceCHI PLAY '22: Extended Abstracts of the 2022 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBremen
Period3/11/205/11/20
Internet address

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