The Role of Psychological Needs for Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness and Money-luxury in State Authenticity
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Renwick, Louisa Catherine
This study aimed to determine the effects of psychological needs on states of authenticity. Self-determination theory proposes three basic psychological needs, for autonomy, competence and relatedness (Deci & Ryan, 1985). The theory states that satisfaction of these basic needs leads to internalisation, integration, and feelings of authenticity. These three needs were therefore investigated in the present study. Previous theory and research has proposed the existence of various other psychological needs. The fourth need examined in the study was money-luxury. This study built upon previous research by examining needs and authenticity in state- rather than trait-terms, and by looking at needs from a deficit perspective. Participants recalled a time in which one of the four needs had not been satisfied. The control group recalled a house. State authenticity was measured using a modified version of the Authenticity Scale (Wood et al., 2008) and an authenticity bar. Trait happiness and trait need satisfaction were measured as potential control variables. Potential mediating variables of self-esteem, self-consciousness and positive and negative affect were also measured. Well-being was measured as a potential outcome variable. The results were analysed using multiple regression. Absence of the needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness resulted in lower state authenticity than absence of the moneyluxury need. There was no difference between the three basic needs in the extent to which they predicted variance in state authenticity. Implications of the findings, which support selfdetermination theory, are discussed.