When we think about motivation, the first thing that strikes our mind is its source – internal or external. Intrinsic Motivation can best be described as behaviour directed by internal rewards. As opposed, extrinsic motivation refers to the motivation based on external needs of a person such as money, position, grades, etc.
What is Motivation?
Motivation can be understood as the invisible force that moves, activates or pushes people and causes them to act. It is something that incites a person into action and makes him continue the course of action with enthusiasm, to accomplish the desired goals.
When we observe a person working to achieve a certain goal or outcome, we consider it a motivation. There are two important types of motivation – Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation.
Content: Intrinsic Vs Extrinsic Motivation
|Basis for Comparison||Intrinsic Motivation||Extrinsic Motivation|
|Meaning||Intrinsic Motivation is one that comes from inside the person, depending on his personal needs and enjoyment of any task.||A type of motivation which is induced by outside forces, commonly of financial nature is called as extrinsic motivation.|
|Locus of Control||Internal to the person||External to the person|
|Aims at||Grooming, developing and satisfying oneself and also identifying the potential.||Earning a reward or avoiding certain consequences.|
|Satisfaction of basic psychological needs||Yes||No|
|Concerned with||How the activity aligns with a person's values?||How the activity effects a person's present?|
|Involves||Enjoying working the task.||Valuing rewards and awards for accomplishing the work.|
|Driven by||Own desires and needs.||Outside sources or other people.|
Definition of Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is one in which the person’s behaviour gets motivation from an internal desire to do or achieve something, for own sake. It initiates from feelings of achievement, satisfaction, accomplishment rather than any outside incentive, pressure, deadline, etc.
Simply put, the motivation to adopt a certain behaviour comes from within, as it is naturally satisfying. It arises out of fun, challenge, interest, etc. The source of motivation is inherent to the task and so the person is automatically involved in the task.
Moreover, it is related to the state of self-actualization, wherein the contentment of attaining something invaluable motivates the person again, so the motivation is autogenerated and it has nothing to do with financial rewards.
Intrinsic motivation yields a high quality of work, the accomplishment of tasks in a timely manner, meeting challenges and gaining excellence in the task.
Definition of Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation refers to the type of motivation wherein the motivation is due to external forces, which pushes you to do or achieve something with the aim of earning a reward or avoid negative consequences.
It is a form of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning uses reward or punishment so as to increase the likelihood of certain behaviour. It can be increment, fame, grades, recognition, appreciation, or threat of punishment etc.
This type of motivation is based on the fact that if human behaviour is positively rewarded for the work done, it tends to be repeated. Nevertheless, the reward of such behaviour has to be powerful and long-lasting so that it improves, its occurrence probability.
So far, monetary reward is regarded as the best incentive for desired behaviour. However, it has been argued that whether money actually motivates people or it simply pushes them to work. This can include higher pay, add on benefits like retirement plans, profit-sharing scheme, paid vacations, health insurance, food coupons, etc.
Key Differences Between Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation
The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- In intrinsic motivation, a person acts to achieve something, but not for any external reward, but to enjoy the process or take it as an opportunity, to explore new things/ideas and also to actualize the capabilities. On the contrary, in extrinsic motivation, the person adopts a certain behaviour in an attempt to earn a reward or avoid some punishment.
- In intrinsic motivation, it is the action which is regarded as important, on which the person has control. Hence, it makes the people participate in an activity for their own will or interest and not for the reward it will bring.
As against, in extrinsic motivation, the focus is on the outcome which is gained when the task is completed. This means that it makes people do something for obtaining a tangible or intangible reward.
- In intrinsic motivation, the locus of control lies inside the person, who decides to perform the task. Conversely, in extrinsic motivation, the locus of control is external to the person who is said to carry out the task.
- Intrinsic Motivation aims at grooming, developing and satisfying oneself and also identifying the potential, and exploring the abilities. On the other hand, the objective of extrinsic motivation is to earn a reward or to avoid a certain negative outcome.
- Intrinsic Motivation is capable of satisfying the basic psychological needs of a person for independence, competence, etc. In contrast, extrinsic motivation does not satisfy a person’s fundamental psychological needs, however, it embraces external benefits like money, power, fame, etc.
- Intrinsic Motivation deals with how the task/activity pursued align with the person’s values? As against, extrinsic motivation is concerned with how the activity is going to affect a person’s present?
- In intrinsic motivation, the person enjoys the task, but in extrinsic motivation, the person gives more emphasis to the awards and rewards received on accomplishing the task.
- Intrinsic motivation is driven by a person’s own desires and needs. Contrastingly, the extrinsic motivation is driven by other sources, usually another person.
Motivation is an inner force which drives the employee’s behaviour. These are based on needs, rewards and efforts. Both types of motivation are important in life. Intrinsic Motivation is the arises from within which instigates a person to perform an activity, for his/her own satisfaction. On the other extreme, extrinsic motivation is when you do something because of an external force and not for inner fulfilment.
In extrinsic motivation, there is a tangible or intangible outcome acting as a reward which a person wants to achieve, but in intrinsic motivation, the reward is the behaviour itself.