- Extrinsic & Intrinsic Motivation Examples – What’s the Difference?
- What is Extrinsic Motivation?
- Extrinsic Motivation Examples
- What is Intrinsic Motivation?
- Intrinsic Motivation Examples
- Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation
- Which is Best: Extrinsic or Intrinsic Motivation?
- Final Thoughts
- Take the infographic to go!
- Extrinsic Motivation (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY)
- Extrinsic Motivation Background and History
- Four Types of Extrinsic Motivation
- What Is External Motivation and How Can You Use It?
- How Well Does It Work?
- 1. Money
- 2. Prizes
- 3. Grades
- 4. Promotions/Recognition
- 5 Ways to Utilize Your External Motivation
- 1. A Quick Hit to Make Yourself Do Something
- 2. Make Others (or Yourself) Do What You What
- 3. Show Me the Money
- 4. Carrots and Sticks
- Final Thoughts
- More Tips for Finding Motivation
- Extrinsic Motivation
- Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation
- Extrinsic Motivation in Organizational Behavior
- More Resources
Extrinsic & Intrinsic Motivation Examples – What’s the Difference?
What drives us to do the things we do? What is it that pushes us to accomplish things? A simple answer would be personal gain, but the question is much more complex than that. There are many ways to look at the concept of motivation, one of which is to examine motivation examples.
A key ability of successful people is that they know how to motivate themselves effectively.
The skill of being able to start and finish tasks rigorously is what solidifies their chances at being successful overall.
But what kind of motivation is most important? Is it motivation that arises from outside the individual (extrinsic), or motivation that arises from inside the individual (intrinsic)?
There are benefits to both types of motivation, each with their own set of respective effects on behaviours and how people choose to pursue goals. In order to understand how these types of motivation influence human action and a drive for success, we must first understand what each one is.
What is Extrinsic Motivation?
Simply put, extrinsic motivation refers to the behavior of individuals to perform tasks and learn new skills because of external rewards or avoidance of punishment.
In this case, you engage in behavior not because you enjoy it or because you find it appealing or satisfying, but in order to obtain something of value in return or avoid something unpleasant.
Let’s take a look at some extrinsic motivation examples:
Extrinsic Motivation Examples
- Going to work because you want to earn money
- Studying because you want to get a good grade
- Helping others because you hope for praise
- Volunteering because it looks good on a resume
- Going to the same store because you benefit from loyalty programs
- Cleaning your apartment because you do not want your partner to get mad
- Going to new places because you want to post it on social media
- Paying taxes because you want to avoid a fine
- Pursuing a certain degree because you want to make your parents proud
- Going on a business trip because you were ordered by your boss to do so
What is Intrinsic Motivation?
Intrinsic motivation refers to the act of doing something that does not have any obvious external rewards.
You do it because it’s enjoyable and interesting to you, not because of any outside incentive or pressures, rewards or deadlines.
In short, intrinsic motivation is performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward or some external pressure. Essentially, the behavior itself is its own reward.
Intrinsic motivation is more about personal growth, a sense of duty, and the recognition of purpose, while extrinsic motivation is more about financial incentives, status, and public recognition. Let’s look at some intrinsic motivation examples:
Intrinsic Motivation Examples
- Playing sports because you enjoy how they make you feel
- Staying longer at work because you believe in your work
- Using positive affirmations because you want to change your mindset positively
- Investing money because you want to become financially independent
- Traveling because you want to explore different cultures
- Working in a team because you enjoy collaboration
- Learning about personal development because you want to improve yourself
- Going to the playground with your children because it makes you happy
- Studying because you are curious about the topics
- Trying to be a good leader because you want to inspire
Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation comes from within, while extrinsic motivation arises from external factors. When you are intrinsically motivated, you engage in an activity because you enjoy it and get personal satisfaction from doing it. When you are extrinsically motivated, you do something in order to gain an external reward.
Consider the way each type considers both motivation and goals:
- You are motivated to do the activity because it is internally rewarding. You choose to do it because it’s fun, enjoyable, and satisfying.
- Your goal comes from within, and the outcomes of your goal satisfy your basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness.
- You are motivated to do the activity in order to gain an external reward in return.
- Your goal is focused on an outcome, and does not satisfy your basic psychological needs. Rather, it involves external gains, such as money, fame, power, and avoiding consequences.
You have ly experienced both types of motivation throughout your entire life, and often, the goal of your motivations can remain the same regardless of whether the outcome is something internal or external. These extrinsic and intrinsic motivation examples illustrate this idea:
|Participating in a sport because it’s fun and you enjoy it.||Participating in a sport in order to win a reward or get physically fit.|
|Learning a new language because you experiencing new things.||Learning a new language because your job requires it.|
|Spending time with someone because you enjoy their company.||Spending time with someone because they can further your social standing.|
|Cleaning because you enjoy a tidy space.||Cleaning to avoid making your partner angry.|
|Playing cards because you enjoy the challenge.||Playing cards to win money.|
|Exercising because you enjoy physically challenging your body.||Exercising because you want to lose weight or fit into an outfit.|
|Volunteering because it makes you feel content and fulfilled.||Volunteering in order to meet a school or work requirement.|
|Going for a run because you find it relaxing or are trying to beat a personal record.||Going for a run to increase your chances at winning a competition.|
|Painting because it makes you feel calm and happy.||Painting so you can sell your art to make money.|
|Taking on more responsibility at work because you enjoy being challenged and feeling accomplished.||Taking on more responsibility at work in order to receive a raise or promotion.|
Which is Best: Extrinsic or Intrinsic Motivation?
Each person is different, and what motivates us and our perspectives of rewards are also different. Some are inherently more intrinsically motivated by tasks, while others see the same activities extrinsically.
While both can be effective, most agree with the idea that extrinsic rewards should be used less in order to minimize the overjustification effects. This phenomenon refers to the findings that offering excessive external rewards for what is already an internally rewarding behavior can lead to a reduction in intrinsic motivation.
This is not to say that extrinsic motivation always presents negative outcomes. In fact, it can be extremely beneficial in some situations, those where someone needs to complete a task that they find unpleasant. Excessive rewards may be problematic, but when used appropriately, extrinsic motivating factors can be a useful tool.
There are several factors that can work to promote intrinsic motivation. By focusing efforts on these factors when introducing intrinsic motivations, you will see how beneficial intrinsic motivation can be. These factors include but are not limited to:
- Curiosity: Fostered curiosity pushed people to explore and learn for the sole pleasure of learning and mastering.
- Challenge: Being challenged helps people to work at optimal levels continuously, while staying consistent in working towards meaningful goals.
- Recognition: People have an innate desire to be appreciated, so when efforts are recognized and appreciated by others, satisfaction becomes a reward in and of itself.
- Cooperation: Cooperating with others satisfies the need to belong. It also presents the reward of satisfaction, because cooperation involves helping others and working together towards a shared goal.
While intrinsic motivation is often seen as ideal due to its sustainability and the inherent nature of its rewards, both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are influential in driving behavior. In order to understand how these can be best utilized, it is important to understand their key differences and the optimal times to employ each method.
Take the infographic to go!
Extrinsic Motivation (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY)
Extrinsic motivation is the desire to do something because of the rewards and reinforcements it brings. In other words, one would probably not do the behavior if one didn’t get something, later, for doing it.
Extrinsic motivation is often contrasted with intrinsic motivation, in which behavior occurs because the experience of doing the behavior is reward enough, independently of any separable consequences that may follow.
Extrinsic Motivation Background and History
Extrinsic motivation is consistent with the tenets of operant behaviorism, which say that behavior occurs because it has been reinforced—that is, a person has received some tangible and separable reward, consequence, or compensation for doing that behavior in the past, and expects the same to occur in the present. Experimental research commencing in the 1970s showed that inducing extrinsic motivation by rewarding a person for doing a previously enjoyable activity can undermine the person’s subsequent intrinsic motivation to do that activity, a finding that helped to weaken behaviorism’s influence within psychology. Although inducing extrinsic motivation via rewards can have some positive performance effects (e.g., evoking greater effort, a greater quantity of output, and more rote learning), there is a risk because it can also lead to reduced enjoyment, creativity, mental flexibility, and conceptual learning.
Four Types of Extrinsic Motivation
In contemporary psychology, extrinsic motivation is an important feature of E. L. Deci and R. M. Ryan’s self-determination theory. In the past 15 years, this theory has differentiated the extrinsic motivation concept, now specifying four different types of extrinsic motivation.
External motivation exists when people act primarily to acquire anticipated rewards or to avoid anticipated punishments. Introjected motivation exists when people act to avoid guilt and self-recrimination. Identified motivation exists when people act to express a personally important value or belief.
Integrated motivation exists when people act to express an important value or belief that is part of an elaborated network of principles and commitments.
For example, people might recycle primarily because it is mandated by law (external motivation), because they would feel bad about themselves if they didn’t (introjected motivation), because they believe in recycling (identified motivation), or because recycling is an expression of a consolidated conservation ethic and worldview (integrated motivation).
Notably, all four of these motivations are considered extrinsic because, in each case, behavior is undertaken not for its own sake but rather as a means to some other end. Still, the four motivations are said to vary on their degree of internalization, that is, the extent to which the end has been incorporated into the self.
External motivations are not at all internalized, introjected motivations are partially internalized, identified motivations are mostly internalized, and integrated motivations are completely internalized. Importantly, this conceptualization entails that some extrinsic motivations (i.e.
, identified and integrated motivations) can be undertaken with a sense of autonomy and self-determination despite their non-enjoyable status.
In this way self-determination theory acknowledges that “not all extrinsic motivations are problematic” while also addressing the societal benefits that occur when people internalize non-enjoyable but essential behaviors (such as voting, taxpaying, diaper changing, etc.).
In addition, this formulation allows the theory to address the social conditions that promote internalization—in particular, people are more ly to internalize extrinsic motivations when authorities are autonomy-supportive, that is, when they take subordinates’ perspectives, provide choice, and provide a meaningful rationale when choice has to be limited. Finally, this formulation allows the theory to address important personality-developmental issues concerning maturity, role acceptance, and wisdom.
In sum, extrinsic incentives can certainly be powerful motivators of behavior. However, they should be used judiciously, because there are numerous ways in which they can backfire. Ideally, social contexts will help people to internalize their extrinsic motivations, so that the necessities of life can be well handled.
- Deci, E. L., Eghrari, H., Patrick, B. C., & Leone, D. R. (1994). Facilitating internalization: The self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Personality, 62, 119-142.
- Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627-668.
- Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
What Is External Motivation and How Can You Use It?
Last Updated on April 19, 2021
If your boss gave you a 50% raise, would you be more driven and motivated to prove yourself? What about the situations when you go to the store and are able to cash in your credit card points? Does this make you more ly to keep spending? If you answered yes to these questions, you’re beginning to understand external motivation.
The above are just a few extrinsic motivation examples. According to studies, external incentives can’t quite measure up to their better half—the internal kind.
This is what we are constantly being told by virtually everyone, from psychologists to coaches, gurus, career advisors, entrepreneurs, and the .
It still does the job to get us moving, but not quite at the same level as its twin, and not for long.
Simply put, extrinsic rewards don’t hold up for long, we keep hearing.
And yet, there is also no denying that external motivation works. This is why it’s still widely used today. It’s quick, tangible, it can often be specifically measured and adjusted (think bonuses), and it provides a decent push in the right direction.
Therefore, it can be rather successfully used to get things done, reach our goals, and even get us to take action.
Let’s take a quick step back and agree on what external motivation is and how it works.
External motivation (also known as extrinsic motivation) means that we do something not for the sake of inner fulfilment (because we want to), but to gain a reward or avoid a punishment. It may feel more of an obligation rather than an activity that will bring you enjoyment or fulfilment.
External motivation comes from outside to motivate people. It stems from things money, recognition, fame, or praise. For instance, a student who does their homework because they fear parental sanctions is motivated extrinsically. In contrast, if they do it because they find it interesting or believe that this will help them practice and improve their skills, they are internally driven.
Both types of motivation work to get us moving, but the intensity, desire, and quality of our outcomes can be different.
You can find out more about the different types of motivation here: 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams
How Well Does It Work?
Research confirms over and over that internal motivation is the preferred way to go if a person wants to have a consistent drive to complete tasks, perform better, or improve themselves.
So, intrinsic incentives seem to be the winner, no doubt, but this doesn’t mean that we should abandon external rewards as being ineffective. External motivation is a good performer in its own right. When used properly, it can also deliver, but you need to read the fine print.
Firstly, external motivators are susceptible to the so-called Hedonic treadmill (aka Hedonic adaptation). It simply means that we quickly get used to the good stuff.
Research tells us that if you get a promotion, more money, a new car or a designer purse, the “high” has a very short life span. Soon after, you need a new push to get to that top-of-the-world feeling. It’s never ending, exactly running on a treadmill.
There is also some research to attest that when we are extrinsically driven, the quality of our performance, persistence, and creativity are not just as good as with the intrinsic motivators. It ly has to do with the “want to” vs. “must” state of mind. You start from a different mindset, and you end up with a different result.
Finally, studies tell us that extrinsic motivation can interfere with the internal ones and actually decrease it. It’s a phenomenon called the “overjustification effect.” Simply put, if you enjoyed doing something and started to get rewarded for it, your inner drive to do it will progressively go down.
Regardless, external motivators can still cause you to take action.
After all, not everything you do can be highly enjoyable and fulfilling, right? However, if you need to accomplish something that you may not quite feel doing, extrinsic rewards often can push you through that extra mile you need to get to the finish line, especially when it comes to the areas of academia (think grades) and work (job, salaries, and recognition).
If you want to know if external motivation would work for you, you can check out Lifehack’s Free Assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style?
When you’re listening to the radio, have you noticed that many talk shows offer monetary rewards for “calling in” or participating in this or that activity? This is an example of a reward causing external motivation to increase your interest in playing.
You can also see this is the raise you’re trying to get to get at work. The idea of that extra money is ly motivating you to work harder and impress your boss.
How much money do you spend at fairs or carnivals trying to win those silly little prizes the game booths offer? What about the fun prizes your friend offered for winning the games at her baby shower? Prizes are often great external motivators.
We can use this to our advantage by promising to buy ourselves something nice if we complete a certain task or activity.
This is one of the most common sources of external motivation and one we will all recognize. Even if you weren’t necessarily motivated by the possibility of getting good grades, your parents probably were.
When it comes to extrinsic motivation examples in the workplace, the chance of getting a promotion at work is a huge source of motivation at our jobs. We the idea of being recognized for the work we do and feeling appreciated at something that can feel drawn out when we’ve been working somewhere for a while.
5 Ways to Utilize Your External Motivation
Here is how to get a better use of the external drivers to enhance your performance, reach your goals and improve your life.
1. A Quick Hit to Make Yourself Do Something
How many times have you told yourself: “If I do X, I will treat myself to Y”? For instance, “If don’t cheat on my diet this week, I’ll allow myself a piece of cake on the weekend” or “If I work hard and get that promotion, I’ll buy a nicer car.”
The truth is, when we see the “carrot” close in sight, it can make us more determined to get it.
It’s called immediate gratification, and it ties into a concept in psychology and behavioral economics, known as “hyperbolic discounting.
” When it comes to human behavior, it’s our tendency to gravitate toward immediate rewards (I’ll take $50 today) vs. benefits expected sometime in the future ($100 in 6 months).
In experiments, people consistently take the “now” option over the choice to have more but later.
The same applies to motivation—although internal incentives can give us much more in the long run, there is still a level of uncertainty because you often have to play the long game and wait for your passion to pay off, especially financially. There is also the question as to whether you can feel truly fulfilled to do things solely for your own gratification, even when no one recognizes your efforts, skills, or accomplishments.
2. Make Others (or Yourself) Do What You What
Convincing other people to do what we want is undeniably a priceless skill. One of the best ways to achieve exactly this is to give them a compliment. It can be in the form of positive feedback or praise, but it’s an immediate reward that can work wonders on people through external motivation.
According to research, compliments have a similar effect on the brain as receiving cash and can improve performance. Therefore, they are equivalent to a powerful motivational shot.
Studies tell us that receiving acclaim can also improve performance. In addition, it can make you more productive, engaged, and ly to stick around with your company a bit longer.
So, regardless if you are a manager who wants to give your employees a push, or to ask a friend to do you a favor, or even perhaps to make yourself do something you’ve been postponing—pay a compliment.
Of course, if you are always fishing for compliments or give yourself one too many, it may mean that you have a bit of a narcissistic streak running in your personality. This, of course, will make you very vulnerable to the Hedonic treadmill trap.
Alternatively, if you are trying to make others do what you want by playing to their soft side, you may be overstepping in the dangerous territory of Machiavellianism.
So, when you give others or yourself compliments, and receive them, make sure there is some truth in them. Unearned praise can backfire, research has discovered.
3. Show Me the Money
Remember this epic phrase from the movie Jerry Maguire? Money is a controversial motivator, a multitude of studies tell us. We all have heard of the magic $75K number —the threshold after which more money doesn’t bring us more satisfaction and fulfillment.
Or, to put it in Arnold Schwarzenegger words:
“Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million, but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.”
And yet, money is still a powerful driver for many of us because of the many perks it brings to the table.
Instead of focusing on a number (“I want to have a million dollars in the bank”), think in terms of the benefits from enhancing your financials—mainly, the freedom it will give you and the reduced stress and worry.
4. Carrots and Sticks
“Carrots and sticks” simply means that in order to go above and beyond at what we do, employers use rewards (increase in salary, bonuses, recognition, positive feedback) or punishment (negative feedback, pay decrease, demotion). It’s been a hot topic with organizational psychologists for a while now as to what works better and if the rewards-punishments approach is the best way to utilize external motivation.
There seems to be more evidence to support the rewards camp,. These get better results as far as external motivators go.
But punishment also works. For instance, you are afraid you may fail your test, this may push you to study harder. If you are scared of getting unfavorable feedback at your annual review, you will try to perform above average during the year.
You may not be happy or feel joy in doing these things, but the point is that you will ly do them anyway. Scaring yourself a little can be beneficial—as in “If I don’t study hard, I will flunk the test” or “If I don’t start eating healthy, I may have a heart attack.”
Although not the most pleasant ways to seduce ourselves into doing what must be done, punishment can also do the trick when it comes to motivation.
External motivation does quite well in certain situations and with certain people. It can be used to spring ourselves into action or make others do what we want them to. It can also yield rather predictable outcomes.
What’s more—it’s not shameful to be driven by extrinsic rewards. Of course, the intrinsically rewarding sources are better and more sustainable in the long run, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your goals if you rely on external incentives. Because they seem to be more straight-forward and can bring foreseeable results, we all can and should use them to our advantage.
You simply have to be mindful that doing something purely for the glory, fame, or money is not going to last. Remember the hedonic treadmill?
Maybe true success can only be found at the crossroads of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. That is, enjoy what you do and reap the benefits of recognition and respect.
More Tips for Finding Motivation
Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com
Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external factors, such as a reward or avoidance of negative outcomes. Money is the most obvious example of an extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation factors can be either tangible and intangible. Tangible factors are factors with a physical form. Any type of financial reward can be an example of a tangible factor. Conversely, intangible factors are abstract in their nature and lack a physical form. Examples of intangible external motivations include fame and praise.
Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic and intrinsic motivationIntrinsic MotivationIntrinsic motivation refers to the stimulation that drives adopting or changing behavior for personal satisfaction or fulfillment.
Such motivation drives an individual to perform an activity for internal reasons that are personally satisfying, as opposed to being motivated extrinsically, that is, by the prospect of obtaining some external reward are two types of behavior stimulation.
Extrinsic motivation is the stimulation of behavior through various external factors. Intrinsic motivation is a behavioral catalyst driven by a desire for personal satisfaction or fulfillment. Note that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation correspond with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Extrinsic motivation coincides with the safety needs in the hierarchy, while intrinsic motivation concurs with esteem and self-actualization needs.
We cannot say that one form of motivation is better than the other. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can effectively impact humans’ behavior and stimulate them to perform certain actions.
It is also worth mentioning that the effectiveness of a particular type of motivation may vary among individuals.
For example, some people tend to prefer external rewards more, while others put a greater emphasis on personal satisfaction.
Generally, intrinsic motivation is highly regarded as the strongest incentive to achieve long-term objectives. If an individual possesses strong intrinsic motivation, it is very ly that he or she will complete a task. The caveat here is that a person cannot always be intrinsically motivated.
Un intrinsic motivation that can drive human behavior only in certain tasks or actions, extrinsic motivation comes with a larger number of potential applications. It is an effective stimulus to motivate a person to do a task he or she was not interested in previously.
Extrinsic Motivation in Organizational Behavior
In organizational behavior, extrinsic motivation plays a crucial role in determining the actions and behavior models of a company’s employees. In every organization or company, employees are extrinsically motivated by the compensation they receive for their work.
However, salaryRemunerationRemuneration is any type of compensation or payment that an individual or employee receives as payment for their services or the work that they do for an organization or company.
It includes whatever base salary an employee receives, along with other types of payment that accrue during the course of their work, which is not the single extrinsic motivation factor since many organizations provide many other rewards, such as bonuses, commissions, benefitsFringe BenefitsFringe benefits are the additional benefits offered to an employee, above the stated salary for the performance of a specific service. Some fringe benefits such as social security and health insurance are required by law, while others are voluntarily provided by the employer. (e.g., health benefits). We must also acknowledge that intangible extrinsic rewards such as praise and peer recognition are typically presented in many workplaces.
In the workplace, extrinsic rewards can be used to stimulate the interest of employees in tasks in which they are not initially interested. In addition, other sources of motivation typically encourage employees to acquire new knowledge and skills. Finally, the management of a company can use extrinsic rewards as a source of feedback regarding the performance of its employees.
Despite the fact that external rewards are essential to motivate the company’s employees, a company should not rely solely on extrinsic motivation. If the company’s employees possess strong intrinsic motivation, they are ly to remain motivated for longer periods of time. Furthermore, an excess of external motivation may subsequently decrease the employees’ intrinsic motivation.
Therefore, every company or organization must carefully assess their workforce to understand their needs and to determine the optimal mix of extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.
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