Extrinsic motivation


Extrinsic motivation is characterized by performing those actions in which the user receives stimuli, negative or positive, but from the outside. That is, those that are not under your control, nor do they come from a purely internal motivation.

Motivation is that force and encouragement that drives a person to do what they want to achieve their goals. Although it is not always a positive motivation, it can also be negative, or extrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is beyond the control of a person since it is something that they receive externally, whether they are negative or positive rewards.

For example, the award that a child can receive from his parents after passing the course. They can give you a gift such as a bicycle for your effort and the grades you have obtained thanks to your good academic performance.

But extrinsic motivation can not only be a positive reward, as reflected in the previous example, but it can also be the opposite and be a negative reward. For example, if a child does not eat the meal, they will not get the dessert they want, or any other alternative at mealtime.

A bonus of money, or a specific gift that a worker receives thanks to developing a good task, are another type of external rewards related to extrinsic motivation.

Although it is true that the ideal is for the person to have an intrinsic motivation when it comes to doing things, caused by their inner desire to achieve something in particular, it is not excessive to add some reward when a good job is done.

Differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

The main differences are as follows:

  • Intrinsic motivation: It is the motivation that comes from oneself. The one that motivates you to do the things you really like. For example, studying a career for the mere fact of being passionate about the subject, that it is something vocational that allows you to later work on what you like.
  • Extrinsic motivation: It is one that comes from outside, alien to the user and that is based on negative or positive rewards, but that are beyond the control of the person who performs this type of action. For example, studying an exam to avoid failing and not being punished by your parents. In this case, the punishment by the parents would be an extrinsic and negative motivation. Extrinsic because it comes from outside (the parents) and negative because it is done to avoid something unpleasant (punishment).

Examples of extrinsic motivation

Some examples of extrinsic motivation would be the following:

  • Change jobs to earn more money, not because it makes us more excited.
  • Pleasing someone to get their approval.
  • Study to get a good grade and prevent our parents from being disappointed.

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