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Self Determination Theory And Career Aspirations Education Essay

2937 words (12 pages) Essay in Education

5/12/16 Education Reference this

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The purpose of this article is to explore the five components which relate self-determination theory to career aspirations. The first component is vocational education reform in Thailand, followed by how to undertake social cognitive career theory effectively, then self-determination theory’s influence over career-decision making, and student’s career aspirations and career choices. Moreover life goals, intrinsic and extrinsic aspiration perspectives, which is the most significant focused issue to achieve student’s career aspirations for future research. Present research indicates that career decision-making self-efficacy is more strongly associated with career indecision than career decision-making autonomy. In order to verify carefully whether self-efficacy perceptions are strongly related to career indecision than autonomy. Self-determination theory will be discussed as a theory of work motivation to show its relevance to theories of organizational behavior. This paper concentrates on the issues raised by Kasser and Ryan [13] as cited in Ryan and Deci [20] [4] which divided aspirations into two categories; intrinsic aspirations and extrinsic aspirations. It detailed the processes through which extrinsic motivation can become autonomous, and current research suggests that intrinsic motivation and autonomous extrinsic motivation are both related to performance, satisfaction, trust, and well-being in the workplace which also correlate to career aspirations. This is an important issue contributing to understanding vocational student’s career aspirations for the future.

Key-Words: – motivation, self-determination, Social cognitive career, career aspirations, aspiration index,

life goals, vocational student

1 Introduction

There are many different approaches to understanding human characteristics which are complex and extremely important [6]. After all, all people are individual. They may relate to experience in a study with different and unpredictable emotions and attitude [17], but there is evidence to illustrate how a few key basic theoretical principles help organize and increase our understanding of the motivational processes, determinants, and outcomes on a variety of life contexts [24]. In addition, motivation explains why people decide to do something, how hard they are going to pursue it and how long they are willing to sustain the activity. Motivation is the progression of instigating and sustaining goal-directed behavior [24]. This is cognitive explanation because it postulates that people set goals and employ cognitive process (e.g., planning and monitoring) and behavior (e.g., persistence and effort) to attain their goals.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was believed by people such as Sigmund Freud’s, that the concepts of motivation were basic human instinct and the drives to be unconscious motivation [6]. The middle of the twentieth century was dominated by conditioning theories related to behaviorist physiology, many of these research forming habits were based on experiments with animals rather than with humans. Moreover, the 1960s brought about further important changes. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, they are famous behaviorism of that time, humanistic psychologies who identify details motivation into people lives. In this famous ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ by Maslow’s 1943 were conceptualized five basic classes of needs, which were able, defined as: Physiological needs, safely, love, esteem and self-actualization [6].

However, the focus in the character in motivational psychology at present is characterized by cognitive approaches. The aim is on the individual’s conscious attribute, thoughts, beliefs and interpretation of events and how their influence their behavior. It should also be noted that current motivation researches shown many alternative sub-theories that dominate motivational approaches. From overall picture these include Brophy, Ecceles and Wigfield which show how the human expect achievement and value outcome (Expectancy-values Theory). Locke and Latham gave directions about human action is caused by a sense of purpose. Thus, goals have to be set and pursued by choices. Covigton focused on perceived self – worth that people are genially motivated to behave in ways that put them in a better light (Self-worth Theory). Atkinson and Raynor were expressed knowledge about motivational achievement that is determined by positive achievement influence about the success and negative achievement incentive to avoid self failure (Achievement Motivation Theory) [6].

The aim of this paper is to review literature relationship of Self-determination and career aspirations by discover the five components ; first is vocational education reform in Thailand, Then , How effective Social Cognitive Career Theory, follow by why self-determination theory’s influence over career-decision making , and student’s career aspirations and career choices. Moreover life goals: intrinsic and extrinsic aspiration perspectives, which it the most significant focused issue to achieve student’s career aspirations for the future research.

2 Vocational education reform in


In developing a country’s competitiveness, development of the middle-level manpower is one of the main issues to be considered. Thailand realizes the importance of this matter and emphasizes the need to increase vocational and training contains National education Bill which is going to be in force in the very near future [2].

Vocational education was systematically initiated in Thailand in 1898 in which the increment of interests began to rises. The vision of the Vocational Education Commission is to produce and develop vocational manpower at all levels for the general public [27].

The current strength situation of vocational education in Thailand has more than 800 vocational education institutions (public/ private). The public have quantity to 404 establishments all over country including the urban and suburban cities [27]. There are currently over 1 million students enrolled in the various vocational study pathways. Eight fields of study are undertaken as majors: trade and industry, agriculture, home economics, fisheries, business and tourism, arts and crafts, textiles and commerce [27].

The weakness of current situation concern the lack of unity in terms of policy guidelines. The country does not have a master plan for human resource development. This is reflected by employer which state the graduates have weaknesses in both theory and practice. The issues of curriculum and the process of training must be addressed [2].

Vocational education need to produce new technology and also generate new jobs. It has been very difficult to improve vocational education in Thailand particularly due to economic crisis in 1997. The state policy has not been sustained due to the frequent changes of government.

It is expected Thailand will have shortest of human resources in main industry area for the next 5-10 years. There was a necessitate administrative system should promote unity in policy guidelines and variety in management such as networking between educational institutions [2],[1].

Hoffmann and Scott cited in Bhumirat [2] recommended according to Atagi [1] on challenges educators to continue to seek better curriculum and career opportunity programs to overcome the institutional that may interfere with students’ aspirations.

3 How effective Social Cognitive Career Theory

Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) is the integrative theory of academic and career-related interests, preference, performance, and satisfaction of students. SCCT were extends Albert Bandura universal Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to academic and career behavior. Bandra and Brewer beliefs on people are more likely to act based on their beliefs [11].

According to Schunk [22] statement that SCT is a difference perspective on motivation that relevant to learning. Following this line investigation has identified many cognitive processes encourage students, as like goals, social comparison, and self-efficacy.

The contributions of SCCT were based on 25 years of research and applied experiences by Lent [14]. This can be view as conceptual professional improvement intervention. Lent, Brown, & Hackett [15] provided frame of SCCT that was inclusive of academic interest, preference, and performance be able to examine how career and academic interests mature, how career choices are developed and how these choices are turned into action.

The perspective on SCCT is accomplished reflection on three primary tenets: self efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals.

Self-efficacy refers to the beliefs of people have about their ability to successfully complete the steps required for a given task [9].

These beliefs regularly changed base on interactions with other people, environment, and one’s own behavior. Lent expressed the relationship between the individual self-efficacy improvement on or after personal performance, learning by example, social interactions and how they feel in situation.

Outcome expectations are beliefs related to the consequences of performing a specific behavior. Extrinsic reinforcement, self-directed consequences and basic task understanding can be tied to outcome expectations. These expectations are often influenced by self-efficacy, especially when outcomes are based on the quality of a person’s performance [15].

Finally, goal is the key role in SCT has that refers to success and outcome of actions. Goals give people “tunnel vision” to focus on demands of the tasks and to persist at the task orientate [23]. A goal is defined as the decision to begin a particular activity or future plan [9].

Lent, et al. [16] studied on race and gender may limit or expand exposure to various careers, or may persuade how a person inspection the possibility of achievement related to particular interest. Bias and role socialization are also relevant to this concern.

They recommended future research on career and academic interest for science and engineering majors.

4 Self-determination theory influence Career-decision making

The reflections on self-determination (SDT) from over the past 25 years were recommended to future research that is reasonably bright [24]. It noticeably presented the great heuristic power from the three basic theoretical principle give a hand to understand motivational progression, determinates and outcome in variety of life context. SDT is an approach to human motivation that highlights importance of three elementary; psychological needs autonomy, competence, and relatedness [20].

The interested functional support to this study in terms of supporting people’s psychological needs on three basic areas must be satisfied in order to experience a sense of well-being. White and de-Charms [20] proposed that the competence and autonomy needs are the basis for intrinsic motivation’s and performance. Notice, this is a relationship between people’s basic needs and their motivations.

In term of autonomy originate that, autonomy offered people extrinsic rewards for behavior that is intrinsically motivated this may undermined the intrinsic motivation as they grow less interested in it. Initially intrinsically motivated behavior becomes controlled by external rewards, which undermines their autonomy [25], [5]. Further research by found other external factors like deadlines, which restrict and control, also decrease intrinsic motivation. Situations that give autonomy as opposed to taking it away also have a similar link to motivation. Studies looking at choice have found that increasing a participant’s options and choices increases their intrinsic motivation to said activities [24].

The competence commented it is giving people positive feedback on a task increases people’s intrinsic motivation to do it, meaning that this was because the positive feedback was fulfilling peoples need for competence [24, 5]. Negative feedback has the opposite effect decreasing intrinsic motivation by taking away from people’s need for competence. The competence implies that individuals seek to be effective in their communications with the environment. According to SDT, perceptions of competence will not enhance optimal functioning unless accompanied by a sense of autonomy. The need for autonomy implies that individuals strive to experience choice in the initiation, maintenance and regulation of human behavior. In particular, the terms perceived competence and perceived autonomy refer to the fulfillment of these psychological needs [11].

Future more, the need for relatedness supports intrinsic motivation in a less key way. In the study for career aspiration found that relatedness (i.e.,need to have positive and significant relationships) is weakly related to career indecision [11].

Gange and Deci [8] studied about cognitive evaluation theory, shown effects of extrinsic motivators on intrinsic motivation, received some initial attention in the organizational literature. Gange and Deci initiate that differentiating extrinsic motivation into types that differ in their degree of autonomy lead to SDT, which has received widespread attention in the education, health care, and sport domains. They were describing SDT as a theory of work motivation and illustrate its significance to theories of organizational behavior.

5 Student’s career aspirations and career choices

Follow from our inquiry; what is your career aspiration? Is that relate to your career choices or discipline that you studying now? Brought us to studied prior research about career aspirations and career choices. Guay, et al. [11] found a negative relation between self-efficacy in career decision making and career indecision. More specifically, students who have strong self-efficacy expectations about their career choice process have. Autonomy and control orientations were positively related to self-exploration and beliefs in relation to the instrumentality of career decision-making exploration. The present results indicate that career decision-making self-efficacy is more strongly associated with career indecision than career decision-making autonomy. More research need to be in order to verify more rigorously whether self-efficacy perceptions are more strongly related to career indecision than autonomy.

York [28] studied on gender differences in career decision making. Research had found that parents’ and peers’ behaviors strongly influence career decision making. The promotion of perceptions of self-efficacy and autonomy can reduce career indecision. And autonomy supportive ways may help students develop their autonomy and self-efficacy to support their career decision making. The less autonomy supportive and the more controlling the parents and peers, the less positive are students’ perceptions of self-efficacy and autonomy toward career decision-making activities. In turn, the less positive student’s perceptions are, the higher their levels of career indecision. Thus, they focused on gender differences that women perceived their parents and peers as more autonomy supportive and less controlling than did men. In addition, women perceived greater autonomy and self-efficacy but less career indecision than did men.

Whiston as cited in Guay, et al. [11] studied shown that only women’s career indecisiveness was negatively correlated to the quantity of control as well as organization within the family (i.e., this relation was no significant for men) and that both women’s and men’s career decision-making self-efficacy is positively related to the degree to which families encourage and support independence and participation in a variety of activities. According to research on gender differences has typically shown that women present higher levels of autonomy than do men.

However, the research does not usually report gender differences on career decision-making self-efficacy and career indecision. Many of studied have linked career indecision to interpersonal and intrapersonal processes without paying attention to how interpersonal and intrapersonal factors are related to career indecision.

6 Life goals: intrinsic and extrinsic aspiration perspectives

What are your life goals? This is the question refer to your own aspirations? When we talk about goals, we can talk about short term goal such as having good grade in this subject, but long term goals, future goals, life goals or aspirations are things drive as a powerful process in thinking their ideal future. According to Elliot and Dweck [7] studied shown that after people have their own aspirations they will motivate them self to turn this vision of the future into reality.

As our focusing significant issue by Kasser, & Ryan were divided aspirations into two categories; intrinsic aspirations and extrinsic aspirations. The researched propose an instrument to measure people life goals level, called the “Aspiration Index” [4],[5].

Aspiration Index refers to people’s life goals are intrinsic aspirations contain life goals like relationship generatively and personal development (viz. meaningful relationships, personal growth, and community contributions) versus extrinsic aspirations (viz. wealth, fame, and image). The Aspiration index participants’ rate allow importance to themselves of each aspiration, their beliefs about the likelihood of attaining each, and the degree to which they have already attained each [4].

Prior research by Deci and Ryan on this aspirations index has revealed found in a Long study in period of time shown that well-being was enhanced by attainment of intrinsic goals, whereas success at extrinsic goals provided little benefit. Initial evidence suggests that controlling, uninvolved parenting is associated with the development of strong relative extrinsic aspiration, whereas autonomy-supportive, involved parenting is associated with the development of stronger intrinsic aspirations.

Ryan, Huta, & Deci [21] pointed out on eudaimonic belief (human happiness) in well-being studies. The model of eudaimonia that is based in self-determination theory were expressed that eudaimonic is cored on what it means to live a good life, a life representing human individual excellence. On the other hand, at the between-person level, it was people who engaged in numerous eudaimonic movements or have eudaimonic goals (happiness life goals) who consistently had high life satisfaction and a high level of positive influence.

7 Conclusions

Ryan, Sheldon, Kasser, and Deci [5] argued that the pursuit and attainment of some life goals may provide greater satisfaction of the basic psychological needs than the pursuit and attainment of others, and that those providing greater satisfaction would be associated with greater well-being. Kasser & Ryan [5] recommended that, because of these expected links to basic need satisfaction, pursuit and attainment of intrinsic aspirations would be more strongly associated with well-being than would pursuit and attainment of extrinsic aspirations.

Furthermore, self-determination theory has detailed the processes through which extrinsic motivation can turn out to be autonomous, and research suggests that intrinsic motivation (based in interest) and autonomous extrinsic motivation (based in importance) are both related to performance, satisfaction, trust, and well-being in the workplace which it related to career aspirations [8].

We notice that there are little research reported so far on the common motivational processes that connect family aspirations, cultural ideals, or personal goals in a distant future with classroom motivation and achievement in differences discipline are missing mostly unexplained. Studied outlined a research agenda that will be significant for supporting the use of SDT as a theory of work motivation and career aspirations.

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