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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006 Feb;32(2):131-48.

From psychological need satisfaction to intentional behavior: testing a motivational sequence in two behavioral contexts.

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  • 1School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK.


The present study tested a motivational sequence in which global-level psychological need satisfaction from self-determination theory influenced intentions and behavior directly and indirectly through contextual-level motivation and situational-level decision-making constructs from the theory of planned behavior. Two samples of university students (N = 511) completed measures of global-level psychological need satisfaction, contextual-level autonomous motivation, and situational-level attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, intentions, and behavior in two behavioral contexts: exercise and dieting. A structural equation model supported the proposed sequence in both samples. The indirect effect was present for exercise behavior, whereas both direct and indirect effects were found for dieting behavior. Findings independently supported the component theories and provided a comprehensive integrated explanation of volitional behavior.

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