Print Сite this

Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation


Motivation helps to achieve particular motives. Behavior in every individual has some force that pushes it. For people to do specific things now and again, they must have some driving force. Motivation is like the carrot that makes the donkey keep moving in the direction that it hangs. Intrinsic motivation is the internal drive in a person to take up tasks because of internal satisfaction. One does not need rewards for that which he or she enjoys doing willingly. Extrinsic motivation comes as a result of external rewards.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

It helps an individual to take up given activities because of the reward that awaits the completion of such duties. Sometimes the reward is only for the best performers. The difference in these rewards is that one gets the internal drive while the other is as a result of external promises, praises, or rewards. Both of them are important in different ways. The natural person does not necessarily need external rewards to fulfill individual goals. However, external praises and rewards can increase performance. However, sometimes the rewards may decrease intrinsic motivation.

Keywords: Motivation, intrinsic, extrinsic, task


Motivation is a theory that explains the behavior of people. The theory seeks to give reasons for people’s actions, desires, and needs. It helps to understand the behavior and the reasons that cause such actions.

Extrinsic Motivation

It is the performance of particular measures to gain a desired goal or reward. It involves the intentions and ideas for achieving given goals. Competition is an extrinsic motivation that encourages the performer to do the best to beat his or her competitors (Armin, 2010). When people are cheering on and the availability of a trophy both work to enhance the morale of a person to keep on the track (Reiss, 2012).

Intrinsic motivation

It is the self-desire to seek out new things and build one’s capacity for the tasks ahead. One enjoys the works, and in the process, he or she achieves the desired target. Intrinsic motivation mainly shapes a person’s behavior from within and continuously leads him or her to obtain personal goals (Lunnan, 2015).

Comparison and Contrast

The primary difference between the two is that intrinsic motivation comes from within an individual while extrinsic motivation arises from without the person. They can also differ in the way they drive behavior. When there is a constant reward for external behavior for an already intrinsic person reduces internal motivation. The overjustification effect is the resulting force.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

External motivation can assist the individual gain interest in the things that he or she had no initial interest. It can also help a person learn unique skills that could become beneficial in the long run. Once a person acquires new competencies in this way, he or she may become internally motivated in the field (Joy Kistnasamy, 2014). He or she may not want rewards to take action.

External motivation can also be a source of feedback. It may help people to know if and when they have reached particular achievements and if there is the need for reinforcement. However, there should be no extrinsic rewards for individuals who already intrinsically rewarded by the action. Rewards can turn the enjoyment into work that needs payment.

Despite the argument that intrinsic motivation is good, not all people can get internal motivation in certain activities (Lens, Paixão, & Herrera, 2009). Excess rewards may also be dangerous to a person. The person may only do certain activities because of the reward in it, and when there is none, the person fails to achieve the targets. External rewards may not lead to intrinsic motivation.

Sometimes the external rewards are unexpected and so they do not affect a person’s intrinsic motivation. Sometimes the extrinsic motivation can only be a word of exultation or praise. Such encouragements may lead to internal motivation to beat certain deadlines or achieve given goals (Orosz, Farkas, & Roland-Lévy, 2013). Therefore, it increases internal motivation. Praise may also decrease the intrinsic motivation when it satisfies only simple tasks. For instance, when praise for a child’s performance of simple tasks increases; it may only reduce the internal motivation.

Sometimes huge rewards may diminish the intrinsically motivated person’s motive to do better in any undertaking. Otherwise, it can make people also feel more competent in some areas. Rewards can also act as the bribe to increase the speed of work (Joy Kistnasamy, 2014).

Both intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are critical for the success of people and organizations. For one to understand how motivation drives behavior, it is essential to understand their differences. Sometimes they support each other, and at other times they differ in principle.


Armin, F. (2010). Neural correlates of the influence of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 4(1), 23-45.

We will write a custom
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

Joy Kistnasamy, E. (2014). The power of extrinsic motivation in tertiary education. EDUCATION, 2(6), 383-388.

Lens, W., Paixão, M., & Herrera, D.(2009). Instrumental motivation is extrinsic motivation: so what???. Psychologica, (50), 21-40.

Lunnan Hjort, J. (2015). Intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation among US and Norwegian high school students. Young, 23(4), 293-312.

Orosz, G., Farkas, D., & Roland-Lévy, C. (2013). Are competition and extrinsic motivation reliable predictors of academic cheating?. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(2), 25-45.

Reiss, S. (2012). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. teaching of psychology, 39(2), 152-156.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2020, November 20). Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2020, November 20). Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation.

Work Cited

"Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation." StudyCorgi, 20 Nov. 2020,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation." November 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. "Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation." November 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation." November 20, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation'. 20 November.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.