Extrinsic motivation: Definition, examples, and benefits – Medical News Today


Extrinsic motivation refers to sources of motivation that come from outside oneself. For example, the promise of a promotion at work or the threat of losing a job can be a form of extrinsic motivation.

Depending on the situation, extrinsic motivation can come from positive reinforcement, such as a reward, or negative reinforcement, such as a punishment.

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from within. Passion, altruism, and enjoyment may motivate someone to do something regardless of whether there is an external reward. Sometimes, a person has a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Most research shows that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can encourage people to perform tasks or achieve short-term goals. The effects of these different types of motivation on long-term goals are less clear.

Some research suggests that too much extrinsic motivation may undermine learning and goal achievement over time and reduce intrinsic motivation.

In this article, learn more about extrinsic motivation, including its advantages and disadvantages and how to use it in a range of situations.

Motivation is the desire to do something. Extrinsic motivation describes any situation where someone’s desire to act occurs due to external factors, such as:

  • a potential reward
  • a potential punishment
  • certain short- and long-term consequences

What people find extrinsically motivating can depend on their wants, needs, and values.

For example, a student who does not care about their grades will not find the thought of getting a low grade a good source of extrinsic motivation because they do not value their academic performance. However, they might dislike the prospect of repeating the school year if they fail, which may motivate them.

Sometimes, extrinsic motivation is the only motivation for doing something. Other times, people have a mixture of motivations. These could include:

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation means that someone’s desire to do something comes from inside them and does not need any external reward or punishment to prompt it. Pleasure, passion, and moral principles can be forms of intrinsic motivation.

Unlike extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation does not revolve around the consequences of an action. People feel motivated regardless of the outcome.

Achievement motivation

Some scholars add a third category of motivation, known as achievement motivation, to this list.

According to this concept, intrinsic motivation means that a person likes the task. Achievement motivation means that they like achieving goals.

For example, a child entering a spelling bee might not enjoy learning words, but they may enjoy winning the competition, even if there is no physical reward.

However, not everyone agrees that this is a separate category. Some might argue that it is a variant of intrinsic motivation or that it involves elements of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.</…….


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