2 Types of Motivation Everyone Needs – Extrinsic vs Intrinsic


Motivation is a process that initiates, guides and maintains behaviors aimed at achieving an objective or satisfying a need.

However, just as the challenges and projects we propose are very varied, so are the types of motivation from which our forces to achieve our objectives are born.

That’s what this article is all about: the types of motivation.

Psychology and Motivation

Many psychologists have been interested in the study of motivation, because it is a basic principle in the behavior of human beings. Nobody moves without motivation, without a reason for it.

Being motivated means carrying out daily tasks without a heavy burden and keeps us alive. But not only that, motivation is related to other psychological variables, such as stress level, self-esteem, concentration, etc. And, as many studies have indicated, it has an effect on the health and well-being of all of us.

Therefore, there are many theories that speak of human motivation.

When studying motivation, different approaches have been developed that are applicable to different fields: work, sport, learning, etc.

This has led several authors to classify motivation under different names.

Types of Motivation

The degree of motivation of each individual is not directly proportional to the value of that which provokes it. But it is the importance given to it by the person who receives it that determines the strength or level of motivation.

Next we will explain the different types of motivation everyone needs with an example.

Extrinsic Motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to motivational stimuli coming from outside the individual and outside the activity. Therefore, motivating factors are external rewards such as money or recognition by others.

Extrinsic motivation is not based on the satisfaction of carrying out the chain of actions that make up what we are doing, but on a reward that is only related to it indirectly, as if it were a by-product.

For example: An individual can work a lot to earn more money or can study very hard for the social recognition that a good job provides him once he has finished his studies. A person with extrinsic motivation for a task to be delivered will work hard on it despite having little interest, as the anticipation of the external reinforcer will motivate him to finish it on time.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from within the individual rather than from any external reward. It is associated with the desire for self-realization and personal growth, and is related to the pleasure that the person feels when performing an activity, which allows a person to be in “Flow State” when performing it.

For example: An individual who attends his football team’s training simply for the pleasure of practicing his favorite sport.

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation most linked to good productivity. In this case, the individual is not limited to meet the minimum necessary to obtain the reward, but is personally involved in what he does and decides to put much of his effort into it.

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