Why (not) do sports? A motivation study on mass sports in Austria


It can be assumed that personality-driven factors, emotional factors, and the classic social and environmental factors to a greater or lesser extent all influence the motivational structure and behavioural patterns of individuals. The approaches of “Self Determination Theory” (SDT) and “Theory of Planned Behaviour” (TPB) (Ryan and Deci, 2002) form the theoretical basis for investigations of these relationships. The current study aims at identifying and empirically verifying the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors (motivators) that determine our sporting behaviour. We are dealing with a personality-immanent continuum of intrinsically motivated behaviour, extrinsically motivated behaviour that has been integrated and thus become self-determined, and other-directed behaviour (behaviour enforced or controlled by external circumstances).

The central questions of the research project are:

1. Which motivators are relevant in sports and how are they structured?

2. What is the effect of motivators in the context of sports practice?

3. What is the connection between motivators and demotivators, and the frequency of sports practice?