Intrinsic motivation is considered the best form of motivation in psychology. Continue reading to discover more about it, why it’s the greatest type, and how to utilise it to genuinely inspire someone (or yourself!).
Defining the Term “Intrinsic”
To comprehend intrinsic motivation, it is necessary to first comprehend what it is to be intrinsic.
The term “intrinsic” refers to something that is innate in nature. It’s also known as “inner,” which refers to something that comes from inside.
Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation that comes from inside a person.
Intrinsic motivation is an inner drive that pushes a person to pursue an activity because the action is pleasant in and of itself.
In other words, a person is motivated by the enjoyment, challenge, or pleasure that activity provides, rather than by an external consequence, pressure, or reward.
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are the two primary forms of motivation in psychology.
Extrinsic motivation, as you might expect, relates to doing something for a specific reason, such as obtaining a prize or avoiding punishment.
Intrinsic and extrinsic incentives work together to create the underlying reasons, attitudes, and objectives that shape human action.
They are essentially the “why” behind our actions.
Examples of Intrinsic Motivation
Some instances of intrinsic motivation are given below.
- You should study math because you like solving problems, not because you want to impress your parents; you should play tennis because it is enjoyable, not because you want to win an award; and you should play the piano because you enjoy producing music, not because you want to avoid punishment.
- Not because you have to write a book report, but because you want to read a novel.
- You should volunteer because you love assisting others, not because you want to be liked by others.
- Rather than receiving a bonus, you should work hard because you love being good at it.
- Instead of losing weight, go for a stroll to unwind.
- Instead of following societal rules, play with your kid because you love spending time with them, not because you want to prevent a tantrum. Say thank you because you want to express gratitude, not because you want to avoid a tantrum.
- You’re making a dinner because you enjoy cooking, not because you’re hungry.
- Making crafts because you enjoy being creative rather than selling them for money doing chores because you enjoy
- Learning a new language because you enjoy learning new things, not because you want to work overseas
- Tutoring little kids because you enjoy teaching them, not because you want to earn a living by
- Assisting your neighbour because you enjoy assisting others
Why Is Intrinsic Motivation Beneficial?
Intrinsic motivation is preferred over extrinsic motivation because intrinsically motivated persons are more likely to be.
- They are successful because they get greater outcomes.
- They are more committed – They have a higher feeling of personal responsibility.
- Persistent – They work harder and are less inclined to give up when things become tough.
- They are more imaginative and are more likely to come up with new ideas and solutions. Intrinsic motivation is a key component of creative thinking.
Intrinsic Rewards: What Are They?
Many of us engage in activities just for the pleasure or satisfaction they provide.
They might include things like:
- A novel is being read.
- Participating in sports
- Taking up a new responsibility
- Putting together a puzzle
- We don’t do these things to make anything or to be paid in any manner; we do them because we enjoy them and they make us happy or content.
Intrinsic motivation is fueled by intrinsic rewards.
The following are some instances of intrinsic rewards:
- When you master a new activity or skill, you get a sense of competence.
- When you observe success in your career, you feel a feeling of achievement; when you join in group activities, you feel a sense of belonging; and when you volunteer for a non-profit or mentor someone, you feel a sense of purpose.
Theories of Motivation
According to the Self-Determination Theory, a person’s sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness can influence their intrinsic motivation.
This indicates that intrinsic motivation can be aided or hindered depending on the circumstances.
According to studies, one of the most important motivational elements is a sense of competence.
When you successfully finish a tough activity or master a new talent, you will feel a feeling of achievement, which will make you happy. You are therefore naturally driven to repeat the process or to improve your mastery of it.
Playing video games is a fantastic example of this.
Gamers who go from one level to the next gain a sense of accomplishment. One of the reasons why well-designed video games are so addicting is because of this. Gamers have an intrinsic motivation to play for the sake of the activity and not for any external benefit.
As a result, activities and institutions that foster a sense of competence can improve enjoyment. They include the right amount of difficulty, positive competency feedback, and an absence of demeaning assessments.
However, there is one crucial component lacking.
Inside motivation can only be created under a limited number of circumstances.
Intrinsic motivation stems from a person’s belief that they are performing the action of their own volition. To put it another way, one must believe that they have the ability to choose whether or not to engage in the activities.
Researchers recruited college students to work on a problem in one classic study that precisely shows this phenomena, but only half of the students were told they would be rewarded for their efforts.
The kids were left alone to do whatever they pleased after finishing the problem and having a brief break. They could work on another problem or do other things in the lab if they wanted to.
It came out that the students who were not paid worked on another problem on their own time.
As a result, offering an extrinsic incentive for the students’ work reduced their motivation to accomplish it on their own. Doing the task is no longer a free decision when an extrinsic incentive is imposed. 4,5.
Relatedness, which relates to how well one feels connected, safe, respected, and cared for, is another component that might influence intrinsic motivation.
A baby that is firmly bonded to their parent, for example, has a greater urge to explore. They are more enthusiastic in interacting with their environment and learning. The game is driven by its own inherent motivation.
According to one study, when children are working on a fun job in the company of a stranger, their intrinsic motivation is reduced if the stranger ignores them and does not respond to their initiative.
People might be organically driven to engage in a fun activity on their own. As a result, relatedness is not a need for the intrinsic motivation. Nonetheless, it is a significant element that can influence one’s intrinsically driven behavior.
Intrinsic Motivation Theory
Giving incentives, such as toys, money, or more time on the iPad, is one of the most popular ways parents inspire their children to adopt a new habit.
Parents hope that by associating a positive consequence with the action, the kid will be more likely to repeat it in the future.
A learning method known as operant conditioning involves using reinforcement to motivate specific behavior.
Although rewarding behavior temporarily improves it, it simply affects one’s extrinsic incentives.
Extrinsic incentives, on the other hand, have been shown to demotivate children from acting on their own, according to studies.
In other words, providing extrinsic rewards for an activity that is already intrinsically rewarding makes it less pleasant for people. External rewards have turned into a demotivator rather than a motivator.
The overjustification effect is what it’s called.
Companies that give a bonus to enhance productivity frequently experience the overjustification effect.
While employee productivity may temporarily increase, the quality of the job produced actually diminishes. When the incentive is gone, employees are left with a lower level of internal motivation. If it’s even conceivable, the loss of interest and productivity could only be offset by a larger bonus.
How Can You Boost Your Intrinsic Motivation?
Although traditional rewards cannot be used to encourage individuals organically, there are alternative approaches to improve intrinsic motivation elements.
Here are some intrinsic motivational factors to consider:
Look For Intrinsic Reward
An intrinsic motivator arises only when a person engages in an activity that has intrinsic worth for them, thus the activity must have intrinsic value or there will be no intrinsic motivation.
Examine parts of the activity that pique your curiosity, or internalize the inherent desire to engage.
Challenge yourself with a task that is not easy, but not impossible to do.
Exercising your limits and then succeeding may offer you a huge sense of accomplishment and improve your internal motivation.
Boast About Your Persaverance
Receiving a badge or other kind of acknowledgment for achieving a certain objective or level of task can help boost one’s self-esteem.
Do It Yourself
The inherent motivation can only exist if people have the freedom to choose whether or not to participate.
Choose an activity that naturally fascinates you and complete it for the sheer pleasure of it.
If at all feasible, get someone to participate in the activity with you.
Look for someone with whom you can connect and who can give constructive criticism without being dismissive.
Doing anything as a group has the extra benefit of allowing people to support one another, which fosters a sense of competence and belonging.
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