Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity in order to earn a reward or avoid a punishment.

Examples of behaviors that are the result of extrinsic motivation include:
•Studying because you want to get a good grade
•Cleaning your room to avoid being reprimanded by your parents
•Participating in a sport in order to win awards
•Competing in a contest in order to win a scholarship

In each of these examples, the behavior is motivated by a desire to gain a reward or avoid a negative outcome.

Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.

Examples of behaviors that are the result of intrinsic motivation include:
•Participating in a sport because you find the activity enjoyable
•Solving a word puzzle because you find the challenge fun and interesting
•Playing a game because you find it exciting

In each of these instances, the person’s behavior is motivated by an internal desire to participate in an activity for its own sake.

I feel that intrinsic motivation is of the upmost importance. Students, and all people alike, strive to feel that value of something inside of them, almost like their worth. People will give in to extrinsic motivation rewards but in the long run I think intrinsic DOES have more importance over extrinsic motivation.

Here is an article I have enjoyed reading:

“Extrinsic motivators don’t get students truly engaged in their learning, they make school analogous to a job–something that has to be done. If we want our systems to be as strong as they can possibly be we need to explicitly foster an intrinsic motivation in each of our students.”


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