Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Why do we perform in the way that we do? What is it that motivates our behavior? Psychologists have offered a variety of methods of thinking about motivation, one of which involves examining the question of whether a person’s motivation originates from the inside (intrinsic) or outside (extrinsic) of the individual.

The pursuit of one’s objectives and one’s conduct may be affected in a variety of distinct ways, according to the findings of the researchers. Learning how each kind of motivation operates will be helpful in emergent a deeper knowledge of the ways in which intrinsic and extrinsic factors impact human behavior.



A person’s reasons for engaging in a certain behavior are referred to as their “motivation.” It is the engine that propels all of humankind’s endeavors. The process that originates directs, and sustains activities that are goal-oriented is referred to as motivation.

For example, motivation is what enables you to shed unwanted pounds or what propels you forward in your career to get that promotion. In a nutshell, motivation is what drives you to behave in a manner that brings you closer to achieving your objectives. The biological, emotional, social, and cognitive elements, among others, that drive human action, are referred to together as motivation.

Goal-oriented motivation 

In addition, elements that lead and continue to sustain goal-directed activities are involved in motivation. Nevertheless, such reasons are seldom able to be inferred from external observations. As a consequence of this, it is necessary for us to often infer the reasons why individuals do the things that they do based on the behaviors that are visible.

Gain an understanding of the many forms of motivation that are used in our lives and how they work. Do not panic if you feel as if you have lost your motivation, even if it just seems that way. In addition to that, we will discuss a few techniques that might help you cultivate or boost your levels of self-motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation

When you participate in an activity because you find it gratifying, this kind of motivation is known as intrinsic motivation. You are participating in an activity because you like doing it rather than because you are hoping to get some kind of compensation from an outside source. The action in and of itself serves as its own reward.

Theories Regarding Intrinsic Motivation

There have been many different hypotheses put forth in an effort to understand the concept of intrinsic motivation and how it operates. Some industry professionals are of the opinion that every conduct can be explained in terms of an external incentive, such as money, prestige, or food. When it comes to activities that are driven from the inside, the activity itself serves as the reward.

The most prominent theory of intrinsic motivation first built its foundation on the wants and needs of individuals. In order to fulfill our biological requirements and continue living, we are compelled to satiate our appetites, quench our thirst, and engage in sexual activity.

People, in addition to having these biological requirements, also have psychological needs that, in order for them to flourish and grow, need to have those needs met. Among them are the need to feel competent, autonomous, and linked to others.

In addition to satisfying these underlying psychological needs, one of the key components of intrinsic motivation is actively seeking out and engaging in activities that we find to be challenging, interesting, and internally rewarding, even in the absence of the possibility of receiving an external reward.

Factors Affecting Intrinsic Motivation

Everyone is different, and this includes the things that inspire us and the way we perceive the benefits of our efforts. When it comes to the same action, one individual may be more driven internally by the work at hand, while another may be more motivated externally by the same activity.

Both can be helpful, but research shows that extrinsic incentives, due to the over-justifying effect, should be utilized sparingly. Intrinsic awards, on the other hand, are more likely to be valued by the recipient. When utilized in specific circumstances or when used too often, extrinsic incentives have the potential to erode intrinsic drive. When you reward conduct that was already intrinsically motivating for the individual, the value of the benefits you provide may decrease. Some individuals have the impression that extrinsic reinforcement is a kind of bribery or compulsion.

Over Justification Effect

Because of the over-justifying effect, an entire academic subfield has been established to investigate students and the best ways to assist them in realizing their maximum potential. Recent research found that incentives may actually increase intrinsic motivation when they are delivered early in the process of a task. This is in contrast to the opinion of experts, who are split on whether or not extrinsic rewards have a helpful or detrimental influence on the intrinsic drive.

Researchers investigated how the timing of rewards affected a person’s intrinsic drive. They came to the conclusion that was providing an immediate incentive for working on a job, as opposed to waiting until the activity was finished to provide the bonus, boosted both interest and pleasure in the assignment. The achievement of an early bonus improved a participant’s drive and perseverance in the activity, and these effects persisted even after the incentive was taken away.

How to Have Intrinsic Motivation

Try to discover the humor in your job and other activities, or come up with creative methods to keep yourself interested in what you have to do. Discover meaning in your life by focusing your attention on what you value, the reason for a task, and how it benefits others. Continue to push yourself by creating objectives for yourself that are both feasible and focused on the acquisition of internal rather than outward mastery of a skill.

Volunteer your time to assist a person who is struggling, whether it’s a close friend who could use some assistance around the house or a stranger who is seeking assistance at a soup kitchen. Make a list of activities that you really like doing or that you have always wanted to do, and then choose one from the list to engage in anytime you find yourself with some free time or a lack of motivation.

Take part in a competition, but rather than concentrating on winning, pay attention to how well you perform and how much fun you have. Finally, before beginning a task, you should go back to a period when you felt pleased and successful and then concentrate on those emotions while you strive to complete the assignment. This will help you feel more complete overall.

Parenting and Intrinsic Motivation

There are things that parents may do to assist their children develop a healthy sense of intrinsic drive. When trying to motivate their children to complete specific responsibilities, such as finishing their schoolwork or cleaning their rooms, parents often resort to the use of extraneous incentives or pressure.

In order to foster independent thought in your students. Give them the freedom to work on a job alone. And ask them to report back to you after they have completed the assignment to the best of their ability. Turn boring chores, like reading or collecting their toys, into exciting games by recasting them in a more playful light.

Your job as a parental is to provide chances for your kid to experience success. It is by assigning them a talent that is age- and stage-appropriate for them to hone. Encourage them to concentrate less on the external rewards of activities. Such as what they can get out of it, and more on the interior benefits. Such as how wonderful it makes them feel.

Extrinsic Motivation

The pursuit of rewards is an example of an extrinsically motivated activity. That falls under the category of operant conditioning.

Extrinsic motivation refers to the practice of using rewards or other extrinsic incentives. Such as praise, fame, or money — to encourage participation in a variety of activities. This sort of motivation is driven by forces outside of oneself, in contrast to intrinsic motivation.

There is not always a material payoff associated with the extrinsic drive. It is also possible to accomplish so via more intangible means, such as acclaim and renown. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is when an individual is driven to accomplish a task by internal causes. Such as a desire for personal progress or the need to be successful. It is common practice to consider intrinsic motivation to be a more effective kind of incentive. It is for the performance of actions that must be sustained over time.


Benefits of Extrinsic Motivation

It’s possible that some individuals respond better to extrinsic incentives than they do to intrinsic motivation. There are circumstances in which this kind of motivation might be more effective than others. For some individuals, the advantages of receiving external incentives are sufficient. It is to serve as a source of motivation for maintaining high-quality work. Others find that value-based advantages are a more effective way to motivate themselves.

When using extrinsic motivation. It is better to do so in situations in which the reward is given in small enough quantities. It is that it does not lose its effect. If there is an excessive amount of the reward handed out, the value of the reward may drop. The term “over-justifying effect” is one that is used to describe this phenomenon.

Extrinsic Motivation and the Role of Parents

The use of continual extrinsic incentives with children has been the subject of very few research. It is that have investigated its long-term consequences. When it comes to teaching children jobs and responsibilities. Parents may find that extrinsic incentive is a helpful tool to utilize.

It’s possible that certain forms of extrinsic motivation, including support and encouragement, might be beneficial complements to parenting techniques. It is common practice to advise against giving certain prizes. Because they have the potential to foster harmful connections with the rewards later in life. For instance, if you use food as a reward, it can cause you to develop unhealthy eating patterns.

Extrinsic motivators like praise may be quite useful when it comes to completing smaller developmental tasks. Praise is one tool that might be helpful while potty training, for example. If you give your kid prizes that come from the outside. You should strive to wean them off of them gradually so that they don’t get reliant on the reward.

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation

It has been shown that relying on one’s own internal resources for motivation is an efficient strategy to increase performance. It is in a given endeavor. You may better motivate yourself and others by shifting the attention away from the external benefits. It is of work and more toward the internal rewards, such as pleasure and happiness.

When trying to convince someone to do a job, it is sometimes helpful to appeal to their extrinsic drive. It is crucial to determine, before delegating work that has a reward attached to it. If the person who will be doing the task is motivated by the prize that is being provided. When utilized in moderation, extrinsic motivators have the potential to be an effective tool. It is in assisting children in the acquisition of new abilities.

Extrinsic psychological motivators may appeal more to some individuals than intrinsic ones. Some people are more motivated by extraneous accolades and honors. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that extrinsic motivation is not always productive in every situation.


Human conduct is driven by two different types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. The kind of motivation that is driven by an individual’s honest interest is distinct from the kind of motivation that comes from external rewards in a number of significant ways. These differences include the influence that each kind of motivation has on a person’s behavior as well as the circumstances in which each kind of motivation will be most effective.

Key Takeaway

People’s ability to execute things (even when they do not want to). And their level of learning may get better if they have a better understanding. It is of how each sort of motivation works and when it is probable to be effective.


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