Logo: Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung


DYNAMO – Dynamics of Need Associated Motivation

The DYNAMO project investigates the association between fulfillment of basic psychological needs and motivation in children and adolescents. To that end, a measurement instrument shall be developed which allows for assessing these two constructs in these age groups.

Project Description

Dynamo_LogoFulfillment of basic psychological needs (such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness) is an important prerequisite for subjective well-being. An open question pertains to the issue of how humans attain need fulfillment. The project DYNAMO investigates to what extent perceived frustration of a basic psychological need is associated with the motivation to restore the thwarted need in children and adolescents. We consider late childhood and early adolescence as an important developmental period which lays the foundation for the development of stable personality traits. Therefore, a better understanding of the dynamics of need fulfillment and motivation in this age range might be particularly important.         


In a first step, we aim to develop a questionnaire to assess day-to-day fluctuations of need fulfillment and need associated motivation in children and adolescents. This questionnaire will then be used in a daily diary study to investigate the dynamics of need fulfillment and motivation in children’s and adolescents’ daily lives.

Project Objectives

The aim of this project is to develop a questionnaire to assess (a) satisfaction and dissatisfaction of psychological needs, as well as (b) motivation for need fulfillment in children and adolescents. Furthermore, we aim to examine whether (self-reported) need dissatisfaction is associated with higher motivation to restore the thwarted need. Age-associated differences in the size of this association will also be investigated.

Project Management

Dr. phil. Andreas Neubauer

Project Team

Project Details

Completed projects
07/2018 – 04/2020
External funding
Department: Education and Human Development
Contact: Dr. phil. Andreas Neubauer, Coordinator
last modified May 06, 2020