theory of planned behavior, self-determination theory, informational events, controlling events

Document Type

Proceedings Paper



Contolling and Informational Planned Behavior: Self-Determination Theory and the Theory of Planned Behavior

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a paradigm of human motivation and an approach to personality that focuses on an individual’s psychological needs and how those needs interact with self motivation (Ryan and Deci, 2000). SDT explores the foundation of intrinsic motivation (Deci and Ryan, 1985) which can be applied as marketing theory. Additionally this theory offers the opportunity for comparison and integration with the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Deci and Ryan (1985) published this theory within the same year that Ajzen (1985) published the theory of planned behavior (TPB). While SDT has a predominantly intrinsic focus, TPB maintains a primarily extrinsic focus in the research literature.

Leavell’s and Haan’s (2014) paper presented to the Atlantic Marketing Association’s annual conference investigated the potential of intrinsic motivation to extend TPB. As intrinsic motivation is a central focus of SDT, a broader investigation of the relationship between SDT and TPB is warranted. For, a weakness of SDT is the challenge of reducing the theory to a parsimonious equation. TPB does not have this problem as the literature is replete with hierarchical regression models demonstrating how much each antecedent variable within TPB explains the explanation of variance in intention.

This paper offers a brief overview of SDT and TPB. Then, it presents an investigation of the value of re-conceptualizing the variables of TPB through the paradigm of SDT. This investigation utilizes the framework presented by Haggar and Chatzisarantis (2005). This investigation reveals applications for marketing researchers and practitioners. Finally, the opportunities for further research are manifold.