It’s fun and interesting. It is the act of doing something even if there are no external rewards. You don’t do it for a reward, deadline, or other external pressure.
One example of intrinsic motivation is reading a book because it interests you and you like the subject. Rather than reading to learn how to write a report, you might read it because you love reading.
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Intrinsic motivation theory
Many theories have been proposed to explain intrinsic motivation. Experts believe that every behavior is driven by an external reward such as status, money, or food. The reward for intrinsically motivated behavior is the activity itself.
The first theory of intrinsic motivation that was widely accepted was based on peoples’ needs and drives. To live and thrive, we need to satisfy our biological needs, such as hunger, thirst, or sex.
People have psychological needs just like their biological needs. They need to be satisfied for growth and success. These include the need to be competent, autonomous, and connected.
Intuition motivation is about satisfying psychological needs and finding and engaging in challenging and interesting activities without expecting any external rewards.
Motivation intrinsic vs. motivation extrinsic
Extrinsic motivation is generated from the outside, but intrinsic motivation comes from within. If you are intrinsically motivated, you only engage in an activity because you love it and get personal satisfaction.
Extrinsically motivated people do things in return for external rewards. This could be a way to get something in return (e.g., money) or avoid getting in trouble (e.g., losing your job).
Examples of intrinsic motivation
You have likely witnessed examples of intrinsic motivation throughout your life without even giving it much thought.
These are some examples of intrinsic motivation:
Participating in a sport always for fun and enjoyment is more important than winning an award
Learning a new language is fun, not because your job requires it.
Spend time with someone you love because you are enjoying their company, and not because they will improve your social standing
You clean because you like a neat space, not to make your spouse mad
You play cards to enjoy the challenge, not because you want to win money
Exercise is not about losing weight or fitting into a new outfit. It’s about challenging yourself.
Volunteering is more about feeling fulfilled and content than a requirement to fulfill a school or work obligation.
You run for relaxation or to set a personal record.
You are more interested in taking on more responsibility because you like being challenged and feeling accomplished at work than being promoted or getting a raise.
Painting a picture is more enjoyable than painting to make money.
Motivation factors that are intrinsic to you
Every person is different, and this includes our motivations and perspectives on rewards. One person may be more motivated intrinsically by a task than another.
While both can be very effective, research shows that extrinsic rewards need to be used sparingly due to the overjustification effect. If extrinsic rewards are used in certain circumstances or too often, they can be detrimental to intrinsic motivation. Rewards that reward behavior that is already intrinsically motivating may lose their value. Extrinsic reinforcement can also be referred to as coercion and bribery by some people.
An entire field of research has been dedicated to the overjustification effect and how it can motivate students. Although experts disagree on whether extrinsic rewards affect intrinsic motivation, a recent study found that intrinsic motivation can be encouraged when rewards are given early in tasks.
Researchers looked at how to reward timing affected intrinsic motivation. Researchers found that a bonus given immediately for completing a task rather than waiting until it was complete increased the interest and enjoyment. An earlier bonus was more motivating and encouraged persistence, which continued long after the award was removed.
Understanding how intrinsic motivation works can help you understand why it is beneficial. These are:
Curiosity. Curiosity drives us to learn and explore for the sole purpose of mastering and learning.
Challenge. The challenge helps us to work at an optimal level and work towards meaningful goals.
Control. Control is a desire to have control over what happens and to make decisions that impact the outcome.
Recognition. Recognition is an instinctive need that we all have. It brings us joy and makes life more meaningful.
Cooperation. Our need to belong is satisfied by cooperating with others. Personal satisfaction comes from helping others and working together toward a common goal.
Competition. Competition is a challenge. It increases our importance to do well.
Fantasy To stimulate your behavior, fantasy can be described as using mental images or virtual images. A virtual game, for example, requires that you answer a question or solve an issue to progress to the next level. Some motivation apps use a similar approach.
How to improve intrinsic motivation and practice better intrinsic motivation
Here are some tips to help you develop intrinsic motivation.
Have fun at work and make your job more enjoyable you can find meaning by focusing on your work’s value, its purpose, and how it benefits others.
You can keep challenging yourself by setting achievable goals focused on mastering a skill and not external gains.
Don’t hesitate to help someone in need.
Make a list of the things and write down the things that you love or always wanted to do. Then choose one from your list to do when you are free or feeling inspired.
Take part in a competition, and instead of focusing on winning, focus on camaraderie.
As you begin the task, think back to a time you were proud of your achievements.
Parenting is intrinsically motivated.
You can help your children develop intrinsic motivation. To get their children to do specific tasks, parents often resort to external pressure or rewards.
These are some ways to encourage intrinsic motivation in your child.
Instead of making an activity mandatory, give them options. Giving them a choice makes them intrinsically motivated.
Encourage independence by allowing them to work alone on a task and then report back to you when they are satisfied.
Turn boring tasks such as picking up toys or reading to make them more fun.
Your child should feel happy and successful.
Encourage them to think about the inner benefits of activities, such as how it makes them feel and not what they will get in return.
What is the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation?
Even if it does not bring you tangible rewards, the desire to do anything is intrinsic motivation. Intrinsically motivated people engage in activities they love and get personal satisfaction. Intrinsic motivation can be seen in learning new skills because you enjoy the process of self-education, mastering new skills, and so on.
Extrinsic motivation refers to when you are motivated by a reward or another form of compensation. Extrinsic motivation can be as simple as learning a new skill, and your company will pay you a bonus.
You set the goal to be autonomous., competent, and connected. This is intrinsic motivation. You found the activity satisfying and enjoyable.
You can’t focus on the outcome if you are too focused on it., your extrinsic motivations to make money, fame, or power will be more important than your basic needs.