Psych M.D. - Extrinsic Motivation

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March 9, 2009

Term: Extrinsic Motivation
Definition (Myers): A desire to perform a behavior due to promised award or threat of punishment.
Definition (alternative): A desire motivated to perform specific behaviors to achieve promised outside rewards or to avoid punishment from others. *
Contextual explanation: Why do you work, go to class, or study for a test? Do you do it because you want to money, a degree, and good grades? If so, you are extrinsically motivated - motivated to perform specific behaviors to achieve promised outside rewards or to avoid punishment from others. You are not working at a job because you get a great feeling of personal satisfaction from it or because it makes you feel good about yourself (that you are a good person), but rather to gain some kind of reward. People who are extrinsically motivated tend to be less satisfied and become unhappy more easily (in general, not always). *
Related terms and concepts:
Intrinsic motivation
Go to the intrinsic motivation page (linked above) to watch the video relating the two motivations.

Extrinsic Motivation - The NeuronPeople often times feel motivated to do something because of honor,

Extrinsic Motivation - The Neuron money,

Extrinsic Motivation - The Neuronpressure from parents, or many outside factors other than for their own satisfactions.
Related websites:
http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/extrinsic_motivation.htm
-> Simple explanation about the vocab with an example
http://www.engines4ed.org/hyperbook/nodes/NODE-148-pg.html
-> This site discusses about the possible failure of extrinsic motivations and rather suggests to give students opportunities to be intrinsically motivated.
Edited by: Elaine

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