Crafting Your Questionnaires


Questionnaires commonly used for research of self-determination issues in the educational domains are listed below. For the full list, please refer to the Self-Determination Theory website.


Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction (BPNS) Scales

The BPNS Scales is a set of original questionnaires that assess the degree to which people feel satisfaction of three universal psychological needs: autonomy; competence; and relatedness. There is a: general form, as well as domain specific forms for work and relationships.

Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Frustration (BPNSF) Scales

The BPNSF Scales measures both general need satisfaction and frustration in an individual's life. The Scales are useful to measure both well-being (via need satisfaction) and ill-being (via need frustration).

General Causality Orientations Scale (GCOS)

This scale assesses the strength of three different motivational orientations within an individual. These orientations, labeled Autonomy, Controlled, and Impersonal, are understood as relatively enduring aspects of personality, and each orientation is theorized to exist within each individual to some degree.

Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI)

The IMI is a multidimensional measurement device intended to assess participants’ subjective experience related to a target activity in laboratory experiments. The scale assesses participants’ interest/enjoyment, perceived competence, effort, value/usefulness, felt pressure and tension, and perceived choice while performing a given activity.

Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)

The MAAS is a measure of receptive awareness of and attention to present-moment events and experience. The scale has been used in research pertaining to emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physical health, and interpersonal processes.

Motivators' Orientations Questionnaires

The Problems in Schools Questionnaire and the Problems at Work Questionnaire were developed using the same format and the same basic concept. Each assesses whether individuals in a position of authority, whose job is, in part, to motivate others, tend to be oriented toward controlling the behavior of those others versus supporting their autonomy. The Problems in Schools Questionnaire (PIS) assesses whether teachers tend to be controlling versus autonomy supportive with their students. The Problems at Work Questionnaire (PAW) assesses whether managers tend to be controlling versus autonomy supportive with their employees.

Motives for Physical Activity Measure (MPAM-R)

The MPAM-R is concerned with the people's motives for participating in physical activities such as exercise, aerobics, etc. Five motives are assessed; fitness, appearance, competence, enjoyment, and social. The scale is a revision of an earlier measure by the same name.

Perceived Autonomy Support - The Climate Questionnaires

One of the central tenets of SDT is that the quality of social contexts influences the motivation, performance, and well-being of individuals who operate within them. The theory uses the concept of autonomy support versus control to characterize the quality of social environments, hypothesizing that autonomy-supportive social contexts tend to facilitate self-determined motivation, healthy development, and optimal functioning. These scales concern the degree to which the target individuals perceive people in positions of authority–their teachers, managers, health care providers, or coaches–to be autonomy supportive.

Perceived Competence Scale (PCS)

This is a family of very short questionnaires that assess how competent people perceive themselves to be with respect to a particular behavior or behavioral domain. SDT emphasizes that it is important for individuals to feel both autonomous and competent with respect to a behavior or behavioral domain in order to display optimal motivation, performance and well-being. PCS is often used in conjunction with the SRQ. Because the PCS pertains to particular behaviors or behavioral domains, it can be easily adapted to study additional behaviors or behavioral domains.

Perceptions of Parents

These questionnaires assess children's perceptions of the degree to which their parents are autonomy supportive versus contolling in their approach to parenting. There are two versions of this questionnaire: one for late elementary and middle school children, and the other for college-aged children.

Self-Regulation Questionnaires (SRQ)

This is a family of questionnaires that assesses the degree to which an individual's motivation for a particular behavior or behavioral domain tends to be relatively autonomous versus relatively controlled. It includes academic (for children), prosocial, health care, learning (for adults), gymnastics/exercise, and friendship.

*Please note that all questionnaires on this web site, developed for research on self-determination theory, are copyrighted. You are welcome to use the instruments for your own research projects. However, you may not use any of them for any commercial purposes without written permission to do so from its originators.