Intrinsic motivation vs. Extrinsic Motivation: Can you find which is the best?

Intrinsic motivation vs. Extrinsic Motivation: Can you find which is the best?


Why we perform any action? What things make us doing them? Is there any theory behind it?

Well, it is all about psychology. Our every action and reaction is the game of our psychological behavior. That is why psychologists make a count of thinking of motivation in the list of psychological manner.

We know that the motivation for an individual can be varied. No one is similar. Not everyone's choices are identical. Then how can be the motivation for everyone is the same.

Yes, the impact of the motivation can be found the same, which is, taking action. But, not even the outcomes can be the same.

As for humans, natural desires are essential to living healthily; psychological desires also need to be fulfilled by them. Psychology says, for every human, the source of motivation can be either intrinsic or extrinsic.

However, both are essential as they let humans make their choice. At the same time, the nature of both motivations is far different from each other.

Let's try to find out the difference between them.

What is intrinsic motivation?

Experts say intrinsic motivations come within you. A person doesn't find the reason for inspiration outside of the self.

In other words, if you find yourself engaging in some work and enjoying the same, the motivation to do the job comes within you. If you are doing something happily for your own sake and don't care about the outside factors, it means you are getting the motivation intrinsically.

When you are intrinsically motivated, you don't need any rewards to feel motivated. As your interest in the task itself gives you the motivation to do it. And, your self-satisfaction is the reward for you.

For instance, you read books. Here, the motivation behind reading books is your interest in reading. And not any other thing like getting grades in academics.

Your interest inspires you to read the book, which gives you satisfaction on completion of every novel.

What is extrinsic motivation?

When your motivation depends on money, fame, or prize, you are intrinsically motivated. You always feel dependent on external factors to get motivated. Whereas many people find their motivation in these factors, and they act accordingly.

You don't feel self doing any task, or do it for the sake of likelihood. But, you perform the job because you want to earn a reward or save yourself from punishments.

When you are extrinsically motivated, you feel pressured. You don't feel satisfied with the outcome often. But, you perform the task because you have to do it for the sake of reward.

For example, children may be cleaning their room to impress their parents. Maybe, their parent may have promised them any reward like let them watching their favorite show, a treat, or chocolates, etc.

Their reason behind doing the task is dependent on the reward their parent will give them after completion of the job.

Examples of Intrinsic Motivation

Have a look at the examples of intrinsic motivation.

You are taking part in sports because you like to play. Even if you defeat the competition, you don't feel bad.

You clean your room daily because you like to stay in the clean surrounding.

You like solving puzzles because you want the challenges you face while solving them.

Going to the gym because you like physical exercise.

You are volunteering, as you like to be the first.

Spending more time on your work, because you like working.

Investing money to be financially independent.

Exploring new places because you like it.

Working being a team member, as you like working collaborated.

Learning personality development, as you want to be a good you or improve yourself.

Are some of the examples that will help you to understand the intrinsic motivation.

Examples of extrinsic motivation

Check out the list of extrinsic motivation.

You do complex studies for the sake of good grades.

Taking part in the competition to win the prize.

Learning new skills to get a promotion.

You are helping others to get praised by society.

Preparing for a contest to get the scholarship.

Going to the office, because you want to earn more money.

Visiting the same store to get the loyalty program benefits.

Exploring new places to post it on social media.

Paying taxes to avoid fines.

Pursuing higher education to want to be in a more elevated position etc.

Intrinsic motivation vs. Extrinsic motivation

I hope that you have understood the fundamental difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Though both are sources of inspiration, both are different in nature.

Intrinsic motivation gets to within you, whereas extrinsic motivation comes into you from the external rewarding factors.

When you get motivated intrinsically, you find yourself engaging in a particular task because you enjoy it, and you get self-satisfaction.

While when external factors motivate you, you do the task only for the reward; you will be getting on completion of the job.

How both types motivate you?

We will start looking after intrinsic motivation firstly.

You feel intrinsically motivated because the activity can keep you engaging. Also, even if you are engaged with the task, you enjoy the action. You feel satisfied.

The intention of doing the job comes within you. You automatically feel motivated towards the career. You don't wait for the external rewards to get the job done. At the same time, the goal is enough to satisfy your psychological desires.

Now, let's see how extrinsic motivation works.

The very first point about extrinsic motivation is, you land upon working because of the external rewarding experience.

Your goal has only one focus point of getting the reward, which doesn't satisfy the basic psychological need. The external rewards may include money, fame, award, power, etc.

I'm sure you have experienced both the motivation throughout your lives. Whereas regardless of the outcome, internal or external.

Which one is best: Intrinsic or Extrinsic?

Everyone's thinking process and grasping process are different. Instead, their point of view will also vary, their opinions and the way of taking action over a particular field even additional.

Well, I don't think the vast debate should be done on this topic.

Even experts agreed with the fact that intrinsic motivation is better than extrinsic motivation. The reason behind this statement is the factor of satisfaction. Psychologists give special attention to the self-satisfaction factor.

For someone, the internal motivation is enough to work, while someone needs the external push to act quickly. However, both are effective in their ways.

Similarly, it should not be avoided they the extrinsic motivation should be handled carefully due to its overjustification effect.

This effect can not be avoided as it has a significant impact on turning intrinsic motivation into extrinsic motivation.

If someone is given the reward often for their intrinsically motivated task, it can decrease interest value, and thus can lead it to turn the extrinsic motivation.

I'm not saying, extrinsic motivation is terrible in all ways as it needs to exist among the students especially. The education sector needs extrinsic motivation to create talented pupils.

I agree with the fact that unnecessary rewards are harmful. But, if they are being used correctly, they can also end up with an excellent outcome.

Whereas, some qualities make the intrinsic motivation best as compare to extrinsic motivation, viz.,

Success: If you are interested in a particular thing and do the task enjoying it will indeed take you the success.

Consistent: The intrinsically motivated people keep themselves consistent in a particular work.

Commitment: The people who are intrinsically motivated know how to reach their commitments.

This thing makes the result of intrinsic motivation different from extrinsic motivation. Along with that, the satisfaction factor will always be there.

The Bottom Line

The intention of both the psychological behavior is to give you the desired output, which the individual achieves.

Though extrinsic motivation may not give you a high level of satisfaction, you still feel happy. You don't blame yourself for not acting for a particular purpose.

Experts have more votes for intrinsic motivation because of its high satisfying nature. But, they also give the same importance to both the behavioral activities.

Till now, you might have understood that whatever is the reason for your motivation, it doesn't matter. The essential thing is the output that you were expecting from your inspiration.

You worked for whatever reason; your result decides the role of motivation in your life. But, yes, it needs to remember that if you are intrinsically motivated, you need to be careful of the overjustification effect to lose its value.

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