Understanding the psychology of religion: the contribution of self-determination theory

Maria Brambilla, Avi Assor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we analyze how self-determination theory (SDT) contributed to the advancement of the psychology of religion. Since psychology of religion started to grow in the last decades and enlarged its interest to cover not only clinical and counseling psychology but also all the other subfields including basic ones, scholars became aware of the risks of studying religiosity as a monolithic phenomenon and started to approach it in a more articulated manner, with more complex questions. In fact, religiosity can have both positive and negative impact on people lives, depending on the way it is endorsed, and a theory of human motivation such as SDT can help to disentangle the different forms of religiosity and their implications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Science of Religion, Spirituality, and Existentialism
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128172049
ISBN (Print)9780128172056
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Self-determination theory
  • autonomous motivation
  • religious group attending
  • religious internalization
  • religious motivations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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