Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation has two types in the broad viewpoint. One is called intrinsic, while the other is termed extrinsic motivation. Motivation is vital to achieve goals, accomplish things and become successful. Therefore, both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are necessary for our living.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are basic types of motivation. They have different factors, behaviors, and theories behind them. However, both types are included in our daily life in some way.

These types of motivation fall in the self-determination theory.

Intrinsic Motivation

The internal or inside motivation that urges us to do things without any external reward is intrinsic motivation.

If you do any task, activity, or job without any external pressure and compensation, the motivation behind it is intrinsic. For example, a person enjoys his work and life, does everything with interest and curiosity.

Extrinsic Motivation

The external or outside motivation that pushes us to do things with some external interest or reward is called extrinsic motivation.

It is the inverse of intrinsic motivation. Sometimes consequences, deadlines, and punishments are involved as factors in extrinsic motivation. It means we do things, learn skills, and perform the jobs under external circumstances. Self-satisfaction and motivation are not involved in them.

Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic derives from internal and extrinsic drives from external. The decisive difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is the personal interest of the individual. If you are doing something of your sole will and wish, then you are under intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, if any external factors like fear of punishment, failure, or consequences are involved, the motivation will be forced and known as extrinsic.

Our hobbies like reading fiction books, newspaper editorials, playing basketball or tennis, visiting a friend, and having dinner out with someone special are some daily life things that happen under intrinsic motivation.

While preparing class lessons, assignments, research papers, doing internships, and following traffic signals are extrinsic motivation examples in our daily lives.

Importance of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Despite different senses, sometimes both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are present at the same time. Regardless of its type, motivation is mandatory to accomplish any job or task. One can not be a successful person for a long time.

The incentives in both cases vary from each other. In intrinsic, a person is likely to be motivated by purpose, growth, learning, and responsibility.

While in another situation, there might be fear, power, publicity, fame, or any financial incentives which urge a person to perform the assigned task.

An individual is more likely to get impressed by extrinsic factors. But it is important to keep the balance between both.

Examples of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
Examples Of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

There are thousands of examples in our daily life that are present in some form. A few of them are as follows.

Intrinsic Motivation Examples

  •  You play sports for personal fitness and to keep your mind sharp
  • You perform well at your high school, secondary, college, and university just because you love to do. You don’t care about the grades but excellence
  • You want to become an artist to enhance your skills and express your ideas on the canvas
  • Learning a language just for the sake of personal growth
  • Going gym to lose weight and for physical improvement
  • Traveling for the sake of leisure and joy
  •  Reading books for self-improvement and knowledge
  • Playing football as a healthy sport and activity
  • Working hard to justify your earnings

Extrinsic Motivation Examples

  • You play sports just because you’re asked to do. Your coach wants the winner’s trophy.
  • You perform well at school, college, and university to impress your parents, friends, teachers, or girlfriend.
  • You want to become an artist because you want to sell your art, make your art gallery and earn a good income.
  • Learning a language due to job requirement
  • Joining a gym to make a body similar to Hollywood superstars and show muscles to impress girls
  • Traveling for the sake of company, content, or any other conditions
  • Reading books for the exams, assignments and getting higher grades
  • Playing football because you are impressed by Messi or Ronaldo
  • Working hard to impress your boss, get appreciation and rewards

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation at Workplace

Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations help in establishing a healthy working environment.

Honest Feedback

An honest feedback-oriented atmosphere is ideal for productivity and growth. Acknowledgment is also a good factor for intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the employees.

Positive Criticism

Positive criticism helps people to learn and improve their work delivery. On the other hand, too much criticism and praise are both negative factors in organizational motivation.

Awards and Prizes

Extrinsic incentives like commissions, bonuses, and awards play a necessary part in employees’ motivation. For example, if an employee gives extra time and effort to achieve assigned goals, additional benefits should be given to encourage him.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation What is Better?

Failures and disappointments are sometimes dependent on your luck. You fail to accomplish your life goals and targets despite hard work. In such situations, the extrinsically motivated ones completely collapse and get hurt from the setbacks.

They mostly quit their struggle and start living as before. But intrinsically motivated ones don’t care about the setbacks, failures, and losses. They are intended for their inner satisfaction rather than physical incentives.

If they experience challenging situations, they fall and try again and again. Outside forces do not control them. They think, perceive, execute and get over there.

So intrinsic motivation is much better than extrinsic motivation. Those motivated by outside elements are more insecure and dependent on the status quo, fame and wealth. The outsiders influence their struggle and decisions.

On the other hand, intrinsically motivated people are less dependent and controlled by external elements. Whatever people say about them, they answer, “Who cares?”

Useful Books

  • The Mindset (The New Psychology of Success) by Carol S Dweck
  • The Road to Character by David Brooks
  • Drive (The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us) by Daniel H Pink
  • Work Rules by Laszlo Bock

Frequently Asked Questions

Main Difference Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation that comes from inside the individual while extrinsic motivation is external and dependent on outside factors.

What is the Relation Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is the inverse of extrinsic motivation. If an individual is self-motivated then motivation will be intrinsic. If outside factors are involved in the individual motivation then the motivation will be extrinsic.

What are Common Examples of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation?

Playing football as a healthy activity is an example of intrinsic motivation while playing football for the trophy and award is an example of extrinsic motivation.

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