Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Understanding where your motivation comes from will help you understand what drives you in a certain direction. Extrinsic motivation is when we are motivated to accomplish an activity or behave a certain way that leads to some sort of reward or avoids a penalty, which comes from an outside source.

Examples of extrinsic motivation include:extrinsicWhen your motivation comes from within yourself it is referred to as intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves participating in behavior because the individual finds it personally rewarding as opposed to acquiring an external reward. They are performing the task because it is enjoyable to them.

Examples of intrinsic motivation include:


Is One Kind of Motivation Better Than The Other?

The main difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is that extrinsic motivation occurs when influenced by an outside force while intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual. Researchers have studied whether one type of motivation is better than another. Results have determined that one type could be more effective than the other when influencing actions, depending on the situation.

External rewards can create interest and involvement in an activity that the individual had no initial interest in, or they can be used to motivate people to acquire new skills or knowledge. Once these initial skills are attained and interest is peaked, the individual may become more intrinsically motivated to engage in the activity further.

While some people propose that intrinsic motivation surpasses extrinsic motivation, it is not always possible in all circumstances. There is a fine balance between receiving physical, tangible rewards, such as a good grade or a gift for a job well done, as opposed to getting praise and personal satisfaction from the same outcome. Research has found that positive praise and feedback can increase an individual’s intrinsic motivation, but when external rewards are given for insignificant tasks some people will become less intrinsically motivated over time.

Experts are split on which kind of motivation, extrinsic or intrinsic, has a greater impact on a learning environment. Some claim that external rewards like grades and report cards damage a student’s existing intrinsic motivation, while others claim that these types of external factors only help students to gain more confidence in their abilities and improve their overall intrinsic motivation.

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<strong>Reference: </strong>http://psychology.about.com/od/motivation/f/difference-between-extrinsic-and-intrinsic-motivation.htm