This video discusses the concept of motivation, differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation arises from finding an activity enjoyable or meaningful in itself, like a hobby. Extrinsic motivation is goal-oriented, like going to the dentist for healthy teeth or working for a reward. The video notes that intrinsic motivation tends to sustain long-term engagement better than extrinsic motivation. It highlights a phenomenon called the overjustification effect, where extrinsic rewards can diminish intrinsic motivation. However, in unenjoyable tasks, extrinsic motivators can be helpful. Finally, it suggests increasing intrinsic motivation by making tasks more enjoyable, such as listening to music or involving friends.

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This article is a summary of a YouTube video “How to get motivated even when you don’t feel like it” by TED-Ed

Key insights

  • Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation: The video clarifies that intrinsic motivation comes from the task itself being rewarding, while extrinsic motivation is about achieving an external goal.
  • Sustainability of Motivation: Intrinsic motivation is more effective in maintaining long-term engagement in activities like jobs or hobbies.
  • Overjustification Effect: This psychological concept suggests that adding external rewards to an already intrinsically motivating activity can reduce overall motivation.
  • Role of Extrinsic Motivators: In tasks perceived as tedious, extrinsic motivators can help make them more bearable, proving beneficial in certain contexts.
  • Enhancing Intrinsic Motivation: The video suggests practical ways to increase intrinsic motivation, such as involving friends or incorporating enjoyable elements into the task.

Timestamped Summary

  • 0:07-0:37: Introduction to motivation and its importance in goal pursuit.
  • 0:37-1:26: Definition and examples of intrinsic motivation.
  • 1:30-2:10: Description of extrinsic motivation and its short-term effectiveness.
  • 2:10-2:35: Research findings on the role of enjoyment in sustaining goals.
  • 2:40-3:18: Discussion of how daily actions are often driven by a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.
  • 3:22-3:59: Explanation of the overjustification effect and its impact on motivation.
  • 4:03-4:29: How extrinsic rewards can help in uninteresting tasks.
  • 4:41-5:01: Tips for increasing intrinsic motivation in challenging tasks.


What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is driven by the enjoyment or satisfaction derived from the activity itself, whereas extrinsic motivation is driven by the desire to achieve external rewards or outcomes.

How does intrinsic motivation affect long-term engagement?

High levels of intrinsic motivation are linked to better long-term engagement in activities such as work, education, or hobbies.

What is the overjustification effect in psychology?

The overjustification effect occurs when external rewards reduce intrinsic motivation for an activity that is already rewarding.

Can extrinsic motivators be beneficial?

Yes, in tasks that are uninteresting or tedious, extrinsic motivators like rewards or recognition can help make the task more bearable.

How can one increase intrinsic motivation?

Enhancing the enjoyment of a task, such as by adding music, involving friends, or making it a fun challenge, can increase intrinsic motivation.


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