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Extrinsic Motivation – Concept, Characteristics and Effects

What is extrinsic motivation?

Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, qualifications, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to intrinsic motivation, which originates from within the individual.

Learn more about motivation in business here

Many people could start by offering some kind of reward as a special gift for doing some activity. This is a great example of extrinsic motivation, as the behavior is motivated by the desire for an external reward. Unlike intrinsic motivation, which comes from within the individual, extrinsic motivation focuses purely on external rewards.

Keywords: Extrinsic motivation, external reward, behaviour.

Concept of Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is usually defined as the tendency to engage in activities in order to obtain some form of known and external reward. It is important to note that these rewards can be tangible or psychological in nature.

Money and trophies are two common types of tangible rewards. People engage in activities that they would not normally find very enjoyable or rewarding in order to earn a salary. Athletes often participate in strenuous and difficult training sessions in order to compete in sporting events to win trophies and prizes.

Psychological forms of extrinsic motivation can include praise and public acclaim. A child, for example, may clean his room to receive positive praise from his parents. An actor may act in a role to gain public attention and acclaim. In both of these cases, while the reward is not physical or tangible, it is a type of motivational reward that is external to the actual process of participating in the event.

Importance of Extrinsic Motivation

Studying this type of motivation is important to know how effective it is, just by looking at all the events in one’s life of things one does to get some kind of external reward.

Although offering rewards can increase motivation in some cases, researchers have also found that this is not always the case. In fact, offering excessive rewards can actually lead to a decrease in intrinsic motivation.

The tendency for extrinsic motivation to interfere with intrinsic motivation is known as the over-justification effect. This involves a decrease in intrinsic behaviors after the behavior is extrinsically rewarded and reinforcement is subsequently discontinued.

Extrinsic Motivation

How to use motivation?

Extrinsic motivators are best applied in situations where people have little initial interest in performing the activity or where basic skills are lacking, but these rewards must be kept small and directly linked to the performance of a specific behavior.

Extrinsic motivation can influence human behaviour, but as research on the effect of over-justification shows, it has its limits. It may also be useful to consider whether you are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated when performing certain activities.

Extrinsic motivation should not be taken as negative. External rewards can be a useful and effective tool for keeping people motivated and on task. This can be particularly important when people need to complete something they find difficult or uninteresting, such as a boring task or a tedious work-related project.

In this case it is important to explain the effect of over-justification because it is a phenomenon where being rewarded for doing something actually decreases the intrinsic motivation to do that action.

Usually, when people engage in activities simply for the sheer joy and pleasure of doing so, not for some kind of external reinforcement, the activity itself serves as its own reward.

Would it surprise you to know that when you are rewarded for things you already enjoy doing, your desire to participate in those activities sometimes diminishes? In psychology, this is known as the over-justification effect and can have a serious impact on motivations and behaviors.

The over-justification effect occurs when an external incentive decreases a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform a behavior or participate in an activity. Researchers have found that when extrinsic rewards (such as money and prizes) are given for actions that people already find intrinsically rewarding, they are less internally motivated to perform those activities in the future.

This fact is a bit complex to understand

and you have to look at it carefully. Because it seems that people feel satisfaction doing activities that they like and know how to do well. But also, they want to be externally rewarded with a good salary, a prize or recognition for the work done.