What Is Extrinsic Motivation: Understanding Motivation and Its Three Principles

What is extrinsic motivation? Extrinsic motivation, stated, is the cause for action. Motivation causes an individual or group of individuals to choose, maintain or stop a specific action at a specific time.

Motivational behaviors are frequently understood as psychological forces Acting on the agent, which produces a definite disposition to engage in purpose-directed behavior. The motivation for a person to do something maybe innate, controlled by personal values, or the product of one’s experience.

Many of us would like to know what is extrinsic motivation? Extrinsic motivation refers to the use of rewards from within a person to get him to take action. Rewards can come in the form of monetary or nonmonetary items. Extrinsic motivators are most often used when a person must exert a degree of control over his environment.

An effective way of understanding what is extrinsic motivation is to examine the use of a reward system. Typically the reward system uses a monetary reward for good behavior. That may use it to motivate young children to do as they please, That may use it to help a worker stay motivated or even use it to motivate an employee to increase productivity.

A more complex definition of what is extrinsic motivation might look at the situation where a person is being forced to perform some task. For example, in prison inmates, it is not uncommon for an individual to be motivated to learn to fight back against the guards. Although some people may view this as “work,” many incarcerated individuals view it as “pleasure.” Regardless of whether the prisoner is being forced to do the task consciously or is forced to do it without their knowledge, the act itself will typically be considered extrinsic.

One example of what is extrinsic motivation is what is called the “over-the-top” reward. In this situation, a reward is dispensed for a very specific action. The actions that can fall into this category include climbing stairs, forgoing a favor, completing a difficult task, and so forth. If someone does something that increases his or her chances of getting that reward, they may feel like they have achieved something. It can be seen, for example, in the world of sport: players will often compete for extra prizes and recognition.

Another example of what is extrinsic motivation is what is called the “sticky reward.” In this case, the reward is tied to completing a difficult task, which must complete within a set period. Thus, if it cannot complete the task on the designated date, the reward may be additional bonus points, a new outfit, etc.

However, the reward does not have to be given out right away. It is possible to design a system so that the individual is not aware of the time limit to feel like they have been rewarded after time has elapsed.

The third principle is what is known as the emotional component. Simply put, humans are motivated to perform a task when they feel as if they have already succeeded. In this context, motivation includes the desire to do the task and the ability to carry it through until completion. Therefore, if someone is motivated to complete a difficult task, the person will be more likely to stay focused and finish the task.

Similarly, if someone is motivated to avoid punishment, the person will be less likely to take the risk of performing a task that may result in punishment.

The fourth principle, as the name implies, is what is extrinsic. It refers to external rewards for the performance of tasks. For example, if an individual is motivated to get credit for their role in a team, they may be more likely to put in the work necessary to help their team do well. It also ties into the reward system since credit or recognition may help the individual feel good if they meet the requisite standard of behavior required to be successful.

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