Autonomy, purpose, and mastery are the three fundamental components of intrinsic motivation. When individuals can act on their own initiative, believe that their efforts count, and experience fulfilment from mastering new skills, they are intrinsically motivated.
Extrinsic motivation, which entails acting in a certain way in order to receive benefits from outside sources or stay out of trouble, can be contrasted with intrinsic motivation.
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What Is Intrinsic Motivation?
Intrinsic motivation makes a distinction between internal and external rewards in psychology. The authors provide a definition in “Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior Using Concept Maps.”
Take a time to reflect on why you chose to read this article. You are operating out of intrinsic motivation if you are reading this article because you are interested in psychology and just want to learn more about the subject of motivation.
Yet, you might be reading this because you need to study for a class and don’t want to get a failing mark. If so, extrinsic motivation is driving your actions.
When was the last time you engaged in an activity only for the sake of enjoying it? There are numerous activities that fit this description. You could, for instance, grow a garden, create art, play a game, write a narrative, go for a walk, or read a book. They might or might not result in a product or award. Instead, we carry things out out of pleasure. They provide us joy.
How Intrinsic Motivation Works
You are motivated organically when you pursue an activity just for the sake of enjoying it. Your reasons for acting out are wholly internal, not driven by a need for some sort of reward from the outside world, like accolades, money, or prizes.
It isn’t to suggest that actions driven by intrinsic motivation don’t have benefits of their own. These benefits involve instilling cheerful feelings in the recipient.
Actions that give you a sense of purpose, like volunteering or attending church events, can cause you to feel this way. When you see the results of your labour and feel competent after learning something new or growing, they may also make you feel like you’ve made progress.
Impact of Extrinsic Reinforcement
Offering external rewards or reinforcements for an activity that is already intrinsically enjoyable can actually make the activity less rewarding, according to research. The overjustification effect is the name given to this phenomena.
In his book “Psychology: A Simple Introduction,” author Richard A. Griggs claims that “a person’s intrinsic enjoyment of an activity gives sufficient justification for their action.”
Extrinsic reinforcement can make a task seem overly justified to a person, according to Griggs, who will then try to understand their underlying reason (extrinsic versus intrinsic) for doing the action.
Extrinsic benefits, like bonuses, can boost productivity in workplace environments, for example. Yet, intrinsic characteristics have an impact on the real work’s quality. You are more likely to generate original concepts and inventive solutions if you are engaged in work that you find fulfilling, fascinating, and difficult.
Intrinsic Motivation in Your Life
All areas of life, especially those involving education, sports, employment, and personal activities, can be influenced by intrinsic motivation.
Education needs to address the issue of intrinsic motivation. The goal of educators and instructional designers is to create intrinsically rewarding learning environments. Sadly, a lot of conventional paradigms imply that most students find learning to be uninteresting and need to be coerced into participating in educational activities.
Thomas Malone and Mark Leeper, writers of the book chapter “Making Learning Fun: A Taxonomy of Intrinsic Motivations for Learning,” argue that this isn’t always the case. They point out numerous strategies for developing intrinsically pleasant learning environments.
In Personal Pursuits
There are many instances of intrinsic motivation in everyday life. You are demonstrating intrinsic motivation if you play a sport for enjoyment rather than to succeed in contests or get accolades.
Another illustration: Regardless of extrinsic circumstances like compensation and benefits, you strive to do your best work because your tasks and mission give pleasure and satisfaction.
It’s possible that you keep up a lovely garden not because your neighbours would object if your yard was filthy, but because you enjoy planting it and seeing it flourish. Or perhaps, rather than dressing to attract attention, you do it to express yourself and your passion in fashion. When you act “only for you,” you are motivated by intrinsic factors.
Factors That Influence Intrinsic Motivation
These elements, according to Malone and Leeper, boost intrinsic motivation:
- Problem: When pursuing goals that have personal significance and when success is feasible but not guaranteed, people are more driven. When performance evaluation is available, these objectives might also be related to their self-esteem.
- Humans: want to have control over their circumstances, themselves, and the things they pursue.
- Competition and cooperation: When people feel good about assisting others, their intrinsic motivation may be boosted. It also holds true in situations where they can positively contrast their performance with others’.
- Curiosity: When something in the immediate surroundings piques someone’s interest, their internal motivation increases (sensory curiosity). It also happens when a participant is motivated to learn more by something about the activity (cognitive curiosity).
- Recognition: Receiving praise from others for one’s efforts might help people feel more motivated.
Potential Pitfalls Affecting Intrinsic Motivation
Experts have emphasised that giving unneeded awards may incur additional expenses. Although it’s a nice thought, giving someone a prize doesn’t always increase their motivation, interest, or performance.
It is crucial to remember, however, that a variety of variables might affect whether receiving external rewards boosts or depletes intrinsic motivation. Salience or the event’s significance itself frequently plays a crucial part.
An athlete taking part in a sporting event may see the winner’s trophy as recognition of their skill and exceptionality. The same prize, however, can be perceived by certain sportsmen as a kind of coercion or bribery.
A Word From WinAspire
Several actions you take in your daily life are probably motivated by internal factors. They are crucial components of a balanced life. We risk missing out on life’s simple pleasures if we devote all of our time to earning money. Understanding and harmonising your own inner and external motives can be quite satisfying.