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Differences Between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation


What is extrinsic motivation?

External motivation is a kind of outside present (or avoid punishment), for achieving different goals. For example:

  • Repair of the bookshelf to please your wife
  • Fitness classes to increase interest from the opposite sex
  • Work as a manager, because it brings good income

External motivation is best characterized by the words “must”, “should”, “work”.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation

Different from extrinsic motivation – intrinsic. What it is?

Internal motivation is conditioned by those pleasures that bring harmony to your inner world. A person does not require any additional, material benefits in reward for the work done. The work itself, and its successful outcome – is the best reward for internal motivation. Examples of such motivation may be:

  • Doing sports, because it brings pleasure.
  • Solving crosswords, because you find this activity interesting.
  • Heavy hike in the mountains, because it fascinates you

Internal motivation is best characterized by the words “I want”, “like”, “pleasure”.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation against the intrinsic: what is the difference?

Talking of internal or external motivation, they mean sources of inspiration. In other words, the desire for a particular job arises as a result of either our internal personal motives (determination to achieve something, high willpower, etc.) or under the influence of external factors (trainings, bosses, spouse’s requirements, etc.) This is their main difference.

Numerous studies have shown that giving out a reward for behavior that is already enjoyable can lead to a weakening of inner motivation. With age, internal motivation takes precedence over the external. But, again, everything depends on the individual psychological development of a person. First of all, extrinsic motivation stimulates the increase in productivity, while the intrinsic one in turn is responsible for good work quality.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation

Career growth is one of the manifestations that helps to significantly increase intrinsic motivation. It is worth noting that it is extrinsic motivation that originates earlier than intrinsic motivation, which significantly reduces it. In the event that you cannot motivate the work with intrinsic qualities, you should promise yourself a simple chocolate bar when the work is done.

Thus, you will stimulate yourself and your work, only then you should pay special attention to quality, which can be damaged in this case. And what external factors motivate actions? It depends directly on the personality. But most often, the motives in the modern world are very similar. Strong examples are: the social situation in society, money, career growth, a possible vacation abroad.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation

When extrinsic motivation is beneficial?

External motivation is constantly changing. Yesterday you only wanted to earn money to feed your family. Then you took the first steps in business and wanted to give a better education to children, a new home, a new car and so on.

Hence, it can be concluded that the use of extrinsic motivation is preferable in time limited cases, that is, as long as the incentive is of benefit.

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