Differences between Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation

In psychology, we can find that motivation are the stimuli that lead the person to act in a certain way , performing certain actions that lead to the achievement of a goal or a particular objective or to the satisfaction of a need. The word motivation comes from the Latin -motus- which means -moved- or -motive- , therefore, it is inferred that motivation is the human particularity that guides him to carry out actions.

From another point of view, motivation is caused by different factors such as needs, interests, experiences, skills, beliefs, shortcomings, among others. These factors can originate within the person or they can come from outside, so we would be talking about intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation . This article aims to show the differences between these two types of motivation, for this it is necessary to expand both definitions and establish the differences between them.

Definition of Intrinsic Motivation

We can say that intrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from within a person in response to their interests , desires, needs, goals, beliefs or values. This motivation is voluntary and is due to the need or desire of the person to act in one way or another to achieve a certain goal.

An example of intrinsic motivation can be the desire of a person to be an artist, if that desire becomes motivation, the person will look for a way to train in the arts to acquire and develop artistic skills that lead him to perform in the artistic medium with interest and enthusiasm to achieve success.

Definition of Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the motivation that comes from factors external to the person in response to goals and rewards imposed or conceived by society . This motivation originates when what produces the stimulus does not come from the person but from the environment and is generally due to tangible rewards.

An example of extrinsic motivation can be studying to get the highest grades in the class and stand out from the rest, but not to learn the content studied.

For the purposes of this article, it has been observed that intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation have similarities but do not mean the same thing. Both motivations are oriented to the desire to achieve a specific goal but for different reasons, so they are different types of motivation. Therefore, the most outstanding differences are summarized in the following table:

Intrinsic motivation extrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation is that which comes from within the person. Extrinsic motivation is one that comes from factors external to the person.
Intrinsic motivation involves performing an action for its own sake. Extrinsic motivation involves the desire to obtain an external reward.
Intrinsic motivation is due to the desire to do something for oneself. Extrinsic motivation is due to tangible rewards (a grade, an award, a medal).
Intrinsic motivation allows the person to last longer interested in something or doing certain activities. Extrinsic motivation usually ends when the reward is achieved.
Intrinsic motivation appears due to the person’s desire to do things -well done-. Extrinsic motivation is given by the desire to obtain a reward or recognition from the outside.

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