Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic Motivation
Lately, I thought about these two concepts rather a lot. One time was for my assignment – where I argued that ‘Extrinsic Motivation’ is bad, the next was when I had a conversation with an old friend – where I said ‘Extrinsic Motivation is not necessarily bad’. Then I realised that there is a place where the both intertwine and that’s where I stand.
What is ‘Intrinsic Motivation’?
‘Intrinsic motivation’ is basically assumed to be the right type of motivation. It engages with the interests of an individual, their creativity and enjoyment. It is a feeling of ‘wanting to do’ rather than ‘having to do’. There is no limits or barriers other than the ones you set for yourself. It surely gives rewards and at most times it is satisfying to oneself. There is a great level of freedom and curiosity in being intrinsically motivated. The fear and guilt are replaced with a high level of self-satisfaction.
What is ‘Extrinsic Motivation’?
‘Extrinsic Motivation’ is defined as ‘reward-driven’ behaviour. These types of motivation techniques use rewards or punishments to accomplish the desired action. Though it has its own benefits, it has a number of disadvantages. It usually seeks to attain some sort of goal, or even be driven by fear or guilt. It is far different from intrinsic motivation as there is a certain amount of external pressure on the individual.
‘Introjected Motivation’ also proves to be in the area of extrinsic motivation. We adapt to a certain routine of behaviour to please others or even ourselves assuming it will bring about positive rewards. There is a rush of guilt when it is not done or neglected. There are pressure and a sense of obligation towards the outside world. The fear and guilt overtake oneself in this type of motivation.
Motivation in itself is a goal-oriented behaviour. However, it is greatly reflected in ‘Extrinsic Motivation’ making the other-’Intrinsic Motivation’ seem as if it is the moral thing. How can one label extrinsic motivation as the ‘bad’ and intrinsic motivation ‘good’? There is no definite line between the two nor any reason that it can satisfy. In simple words, many view extrinsic motivation as something bad or feel guilty to accept it.
There is no right or wrong way of being motivated. However fine line between the two seems to be a good place to be. For example, a person can be intrinsically motivated to do something at the beginning of the said task. However, they could lose interest in the process and work towards the goal in order to achieve the reward. This involves both the process but hard to categorize which one is more effective. Thinking about it in reverse order, a person can be pushed into or extrinsically motivated to do a task for the reward and eventually grow passionate towards the goal, in which in the case becomes intrinsic motivation yet is rewarded. There are way too many examples that make us question which exactly is the right way to be motivated. The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is diluted given the particular circumstances.
Perhaps, what we should consider is ‘Identified Motivation’. Finding out our interests and doing tasks for our own benefit with no rewards or regrets. However, in most situations, some are unfortunate to choose what they ‘want to do’ and often ‘have to follow’ the crowd or do what they are told. These are the areas where theories make it extremely hard to accept and we have to keep ourselves motivated either of the ways. It is best to be motivated where all the ideas are integrated. A little of many parts. ‘Integrated Motivation’ involves an analysis of the possible methods, doing the tasks out of curiosity and love, and not being guilty or in fear if it is impossible to achieve it. Only then one can relish in true motivation and its effects!