Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation represent two distinct types of motivation that drive human behavior and decision-making. Intrinsic motivation refers to engaging in an activity for its own sake, for the enjoyment or fulfillment it provides, whereas extrinsic motivation involves performing an activity to achieve an external reward or avoid a negative outcome. Understanding the differences between these two types of motivation is crucial in various fields such as education, psychology, business, and personal development, as they play a key role in influencing individuals’ actions, goals, and overall satisfaction.

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Key Aspects and Points

Intrinsic Motivation:

  • Definition: Intrinsic motivation arises from within the individual. It is driven by personal interest, enjoyment, or inherent satisfaction in the task itself.
  • Characteristics: Activities are performed for their inherent pleasure or fulfillment. For example, a person may engage in painting purely because they enjoy the creative process.
  • Impact on Behavior: Intrinsic motivation is often linked to higher levels of engagement, creativity, and persistence. It is also associated with a deeper learning and understanding of subjects or skills.
  • Challenges: Maintaining intrinsic motivation can be challenging in environments overly focused on rewards or external outcomes.

Extrinsic Motivation:

  • Definition: Extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors, such as rewards, recognition, or avoidance of negative consequences.
  • Characteristics: The primary motivator is the desire to obtain external rewards (like money or grades) or to avoid punishments or negative outcomes.
  • Impact on Behavior: While extrinsic motivation can effectively initiate and guide behavior, it may not always lead to deep engagement or long-term persistence. It can sometimes undermine intrinsic motivation.
  • Applications: Extrinsic motivators are commonly used in various settings, including workplaces and schools, to encourage desired behaviors.

Interplay Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation:

  • The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is complex. In some cases, extrinsic rewards can diminish intrinsic motivation, a phenomenon known as the “overjustification effect.”
  • However, extrinsic motivators can also complement intrinsic motivation, especially when they align with the individual’s values and self-concept.

Factors Influencing Motivation:

  • Personal interests, values, goals, and self-determination significantly influence intrinsic motivation.
  • External factors like societal norms, cultural values, and environmental cues play a crucial role in shaping extrinsic motivation.

Relevance in Different Domains:

  • In education, fostering intrinsic motivation can lead to a more profound and self-driven learning experience. Extrinsic motivators, like grades and rewards, are also used to motivate students.
  • In the workplace, understanding these motivations helps in designing effective incentives and job roles that align with employees’ intrinsic interests and extrinsic goals.

Psychological Theories and Models:

  • Several psychological theories, such as Self-Determination Theory, explore the dynamics of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, emphasizing the role of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in fostering intrinsic motivation.

In conclusion, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are fundamental concepts that explain why people behave the way they do. Recognizing and understanding these motivations are essential for effective teaching strategies, workplace management, personal goal setting, and fostering an environment that supports both personal satisfaction and achievement of external objectives.

Suggested sources and references:

  • Bénabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. In The Review of Economic Studies (Vols. 70, pp. 489-520). The Review of Economic Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-937X.00253
  • Vallerand, R. Toward A Hierarchical Model of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vols. 29, pp. 271-360). Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60019-2
  • Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2020). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from a self-determination theory perspective: Definitions, theory, practices, and future directions. In Contemporary Educational Psychology. Contemporary Educational Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2020.101860
  • Guay, F., Vallerand, R., & Blanchard, C. (2000). On the Assessment of Situational Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation: The Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS). In Motivation and Emotion (Vols. 24, pp. 175-213). Motivation and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005614228250
  • Zeng, D., Takada, N., Hara, Y., Sugiyama, S., Ito, Y., Nihei, Y., & Asakura, K. (2022). Impact of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation on Work Engagement: A Cross-Sectional Study of Nurses Working in Long-Term Care Facilities. In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Vols. 19). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031284
  • Azid, M. B. B. A., Mazalan, N. S., Pa, W. M. W., Kamaruzaman, F. M., & Nazarudin, M. N. (2023). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation in Sports. In International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development. https://doi.org/10.6007/ijarped/v12-i3/18460
  • Good, V., Hughes, D. E., Kirca, A. H., & McGrath, S. (2022). A self-determination theory-based meta-analysis on the differential effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on salesperson performance. In Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (Vols. 50, pp. 586-614). Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-021-00827-6

Suggested reading:

  • Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Elsevier. https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=uM10geBB8o4C&source=gbs_api
  • Sansone, D. C., Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. Academic Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=DyeOd0Vb5lQC&dq=Intrinsic+and+Extrinsic+Motivation&hl=&source=gbs_api
  • Deci, E. L. (2012). Intrinsic Motivation. Springer Science & Business Media. https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=_Ut-BgAAQBAJ&source=gbs_api
  • Staw, B. M. (1976). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. http://books.google.com/books?id=nW1RAAAAYAAJ&dq=Intrinsic+and+Extrinsic+Motivation&hl=&source=gbs_api
  • Frey, B. S., & Osterloh, M. (2013). Successful Management by Motivation. Springer Science & Business Media. https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=PU76BwAAQBAJ&source=gbs_api
  • U., J. (2021). Motivation and Work Performance. The Effects of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation on Work Performance. GRIN Verlag. https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=2lc5EAAAQBAJ&source=gbs_api


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