Staying on Track: Finding Motivation at the Intersection of Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness

The road of a PhD candidate can be long and troublesome. Data collection is always delayed, your paper gets rejected (again!), and an avalanche of student emails keeps clogging your inbox (and your mind). Many external factors can keep you from staying on track. But face it; the biggest threat to finishing your dissertation on time is you. Self-determination theory A lack of motivation to finish your PhD project (or any other project for that matter) is not uncommon. But what triggers this (sometimes sudden) state of mind, and what can you do about it? According to Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory (2000) there are three innate psychological needs that lay at the foundation of your m

The Five Stages of Big Data Grief

This year, I embarked on the half-exciting /half-terrifying task of conquering the theories and practices of Big Data analysis. For some, the thought processes involved in writing code may be intuitive and come as second nature. If you are one of those lucky folk, keep moving along, this is not the blog you’re looking for. For those like me, that are coming from the comforts of the SPSS world, here is what you may experience in your first attempts at Big Data research: 1. Denial – “Surely, it can’t be that hard.” In this initial stage, sometime after the first lesson/workshop, you may tell yourself that there has been some sort of mistake and cling to a false reality. ‘If I simply re-read th

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