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Selected Publications

The Possibilities of Aloneness and Solitude: Developing an Understanding Framed through the Lens of Human Motivation and Needs. 

Nguyen, Weinstein & Deci, 2021.

We review literature and experimental data to distinguish solitude from other situations where people are alone but preoccupied by external activities or presence of other people...

Solitude as an Approach to Affective Self-regulation.

Nguyen, Ryan & Deci, 2018.

In this research, we showed that solitude generally has a deactivation effect on people’s affective experiences, decreasing both positive and negative high-arousal affects...

Motivation and Preference in Isolation: a Test of their Different Influences on Responses to Self-isolation during the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Weinstein & Nguyen, 2020.

This multi-wave study examined the extent that both preference and motivation for time alone shapes ill-being during self-isolation...

What Time Alone Offers: Narratives of Solitude From Adolescence to Older Adulthood.

Weinstein, Nguyen & Hansen, 2021.

Solitude – the state of being alone and not physically with another – can be rewarding. The present research explored the potential benefits of solitude from a pragmatist approach: a ground-up, top-down perspective that is receptive to new knowledge but informed by theory...

Alone with Our Thoughts: Investigation of Autonomy Supportive Framing as a Driver of Enjoyment During Quiet Time in Solitude.

Nguyen, Weinstein & Deci, 2022.

Sitting alone with one’s thoughts could foster a sense of rest and relaxation, yet many find this activity difficult. In two preregistered experiments (Study 1: n = 266, Study 2: n = 369), we focused on autonomy-supportive and controlling framings of solitude as drivers of motivation for solitude...

Who Enjoys Solitude? Autonomous Functioning (but not introversion) Predicts Self-determined Motivation (but not preference) for Solitude.

Nguyen, Weinstein & Ryan, 2022

Within the solitude literature, two discrete constructs reflect different perspectives on how time spent alone is motivated. Self-determined motivation for solitude reflects wanting time alone to find enjoyment and gain meaningful benefits from it, whereas preference for solitude concerns wanting time for oneself over others’ company regardless of reasons for why time alone is wanted...

The Index of Autonomous Functioning: Development of a Scale of Human Autonomy.

Weinstein, Przybylski & Ryan, 2012.

A growing interest in the functional importance of dispositional autonomy led to the development and validation of the Index of Autonomous Functioning (IAF) across seven studies. The IAF provides a measure of trait autonomy based on three theoretically derived subscales...

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