Saturday, July 10, 2010

Intrinsic and Extrinsic

Motivation is something that energizes, directs, and sustains behaviors. Intrinsic motivation is the internal desires to perform a particular task or develop a certain skill. For example intrinsically motivated students are bound to do much better in classroom activities because they are willing and eager to learn new material. Their learning experience is more meaningful, and they go deeper into the subject to fully understand it. People do certain activities because it gives them pleasure or becauce it’s morally the right thing to do. Factors that promote intrinsic motivation are challenge, control, cooperation and recognition. "Let not the enjoyment of pleasure now within our grasp be excess as to incapacitate you from future repetition (Seneca, 239)."

Extrinsic motivation is factors external to the individual and unrelated to the task they are performing. This includes money, good grades, and other rewards. "If a reward — money, awards, praise, or winning a contest — comes to be seen as the reason one is engaging in an activity, that activity will be viewed as less enjoyable in its own right(Alfie Kohn)." According to the familiar axiom of "wanting more," "to have something desirable is good, and to have more of it is better, and to have still more is better yet; to have less is worse (p. 239)."

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