Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

A certain motivation is almost always required to perform a certain action or deliver a certain performance. This motivation can be a form of enforced motivation, but can also be an autonomous motivation; a motivation that comes from a certain will to perform the action. This article discusses the different types of motivation and what influences this motivation.

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

It is no surprise that a certain kind of motivation is needed to perform an action or perform a feat; If there were no underlying motivation, one could ignore the ringing alarm clock in the morning and go back to sleep. Unfortunately, there is a certain enforced motivation here, which ensures that we still get up when the alarm goes off; not getting up would mean showing up late for work with all the negative consequences that entails. These negative consequences ultimately provide the motivation to get up in the morning. In this way one could link almost all actions one performs to some kind of motivation; However, not all of them are subject to some kind of coercion. The hobby that is performed in the evenings usually depends on a different type of motivation; Here there is no external pressure that causes us to surrender to our hobby, but we pursue the hobby based on our own, intrinsic motivation.

Consequences of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation

The two different types of motivation that emerge in the above piece are also the two main groups of motivation that we can distinguish. The ,forced, motivation is extrinsic motivation (external causes provide the motivation to perform the action) and one’s own motivation is intrinsic motivation (the reasons for performing the action come from within ourselves; we do the action because, for example, we enjoy it yourself). In addition to the different causes for motivation, the two different types of motivation also have different consequences. In general, it can be said that extrinsic motivation can have positive consequences for simple and repetitive work, while intrinsic motivation generally produces better results for all work that is more complicated than simple and repetitive work. It must be understood that extrinsic motivation can be the result not only of negative sanctions, but also of positive sanctions; for example, a monetary reward for performing a certain action also provides extrinsic motivation.

Autonomous motivation

Although the main groups of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic, can generally be distinguished well, extrinsic motivation can also be subdivided into several types of extrinsic motivation. This subdivision is on a scale from less to more autonomous. Intrinsic motivation should be seen as the most autonomous type of motivation.

From less to more autonomous we can distinguish external regulation, introjected regulation, identified regulation and integrated regulation. External regulation is a form of motivation that is still very controlled (do this, because otherwise…) while integrated regulation is a form of motivation in which the motivation is already relatively autonomous. In this form of extrinsic motivation, an action is performed because one has internalized the external norms and values and acts on the basis of these values and norms and addresses others accordingly. Identified and integrated regulation is already a form of autonomous motivation; action is taken from the person himself, but still from outside pressure (for example social).

Crowding out and crowding in effects

Controlled and autonomous motivation can complement each other, but can also negatively influence each other. For example, various experiments show that people do an activity that they enjoy less well and less willingly if they are paid for it. This seems to go against all intuition and logic, but is actually related to the so-called crowding out effect. This ensures that in many cases autonomous and controlled motivation push each other out. An increase in controlled motivation (payment) causes autonomous motivation to decrease. This is partly due to a shift in focus from a focus on the activity and the pleasure in it, to a focus on payment.

This crowding out effect does not always occur; it only occurs if the extrinsic intervention (the payment) is experienced as controlling . If this is not experienced as controlling, but as stimulating, it can actually increase intrinsic motivation. We call the latter the crowding in effect.

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