From the Phenomenon of Self-Sufficiency to the Mechanisms of Self-Determination

Keywords: self-sufficiency, agency, autonomy, personal causation, self-determination, motivation, freedom, responsibility, personal life position


The paper presents a systematic analysis of key explanatory concepts of different levels of abstraction, being used in the psychological and interdisciplinary concepts for the explanation of the phenomenon of self-sufficiency. The phenomenon of self-sufficiency is defined basing on the understanding of person as the instance which human being as an autonomous agent may oppose to both internal impulses and external pressures, biological and social determinants acting both from within and from outside. The closest construct is that of agency. Agency is viewed as personality variable, reflecting the person’s capacity to initiate and control their actions. Agency appears as the explanatory construct as regards the observable phenomenon of self-sufficiency. However, being holistic and indivisible, it, in its turn, needs a more detailed analysis. 

Such a brief analysis is provided for the psychological constructs of proactivity, autonomy, personal causation and self-determination as well as for more specific theoretical models of intrinsic / extrinsic motivation, phases of a motivated action, personality potential as the potential of autoregulation, and freedom and responsibility as two sides of personal causation and autodetermination, taking shape during the transition from childhood to adulthood. Freedom is treated as the highest form of activity, a side of personal causation and autodetermination which allows us feeling independent of outer pressures and inner impulses. Responsibility is the second side of personal causation and autodetermination, the highest form of autoregulation, associated with viewing oneself as a cause of some events in the world, it is a controlled capacity of producing goal-directed changes in oneself and in the world. In conclusion the construct of personal life position as an integral person’s attitude to one’s own life is introduced. The constructs analyzed in the paper present the multilevel conceptual frame for treating the phenomenon of self-sufficiency.


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How to Cite
LeontievDmitry A. 2024. “From the Phenomenon of Self-Sufficiency to the Mechanisms of Self-Determination ”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 1 (April).
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