Edward L. Deci, Ph.D.

Title: Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor Emeritus
Company: University of Rochester
Location: Rochester, New York, United States

Edward L. Deci, Ph.D., Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in psychology and higher education.

Dr. Deci is a prominent psychologist and revered educator who draws upon nearly 50 years of industry experience in his areas of expertise. Primarily interested in human motivation, particularly the nature and development of self-determination, he isolates basic processes in human motivation and tests their application to education, health care, parenting, mental health and work organizations both nationally and across cultures. Alongside Dr. Richard Ryan, he was the co-founder of the self-determination theory, a contemporary motivational theory of much acclaim. Using both laboratory and field methods, his work focuses primarily on the nature and development of self-determination.

 Since 2018, he has been a Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen professor emeritus at the University of Rochester, having formerly served as the Helen F. and Fred Gowen professor of social sciences from 2005 to 2018, professor of psychology from 1978 to 2005, and faculty member from 1970 to 1978. During his tenure, he also chaired the department of psychology from 1993 to 1994.

Alongside his primary career endeavors, Dr. Deci has been a professorial fellow in motivation at Australian Catholic University since 2016, having also served as a professor of management at the University of South-Eastern Norway since 2012. From 1997 to 2008, he was chairman of the Institute for Research and Reform in Education, having held the role of honorary president of the Canadian Psychological Association from 2006 to 2007. Likewise, he was a private practice psychotherapist, consultant and lecturer in the field.

Dr. Deci holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and a Doctor of Philosophy from Carnegie Mellon University. A licensed psychologist in New York, he has shared his wealth of knowledge to myriad publications, including six books. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to psychology, he recently received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 2015 and the Research Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity in 2014. A longtime grantee of the Institute of Education Sciences, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, he was honored as a James McKeen Cattell Fellow and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Positive Psychology Network. Notably, he is a fellow is the Association for Psychological Science.

For more information, please visit:

Self-Determination Theory Website 

Wikipedia Profile 

University of Rochester Profile 

Social Psychology Network Profile

Press Release 

Lifetime Achievement 

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