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How Exactly Does Extrinsic Motivation Work?

Did you ever experience a lack of motivation while trying to achieve any goal in life? Have you ever felt that the inspiration behind doing a particular work is merely materialistic fulfillment? Well, we all have felt this way at some point in our lives. This is where the term “Extrinsic Motivation” comes into the picture. Extrinsic motivation is a psychological condition where people do certain tasks only for external or tangible rewards. Here’s all you need to know about extrinsic motivation and how it works.

Extrinsic Motivation – The Functional Pattern

You can understand the functional pattern of extrinsic motivation, with the help of an example. For instance, if you motivate yourself to do good in the exam, the rewards might come out as decent grades and a word of approbation from your teachers and parents. Both of these are psychological rewards. Your prize could also be a scholarship, which is tangible and external motivation.

If you want to evade something, be it an undesirable consequence or punishment, it can also work as a motivational factor. Sometimes kids complete their homework just to avoid punishment and not to learn from it. It is yet another instance of psychological satisfaction that you can derive.

External Factors Work As Catalysts

A variety of external factors act as motivating forces. In this day and age, money and trophies are the two highly sought-after rewards. You might often engage in actions that you don’t enjoy. However, to keep the home fires burning, you might have to engage in the activities. Employment is a classic example of it. You might have to push yourself to go to the work to get a paycheck because you have bills to pay. So, you need to extrinsically motivate yourself as your work would result in a paycheck every month.

Take the instance of the athletes. It may appear they always enjoy the game, but often winning a trophy becomes important to them. To achieve the ultimate success, they start to push their limits and go through tough training sessions. While trophies are their tangible rewards, the public applauds, and fame keeps them motivated mentally.

But what happens when the gusto of learning or doing something comes from within yourself? If you are doing something to satisfy your curiosity about enjoying that activity wholeheartedly, it becomes your “Intrinsic Motivation.” Intrinsic motivation is not contingent on external rewards.

Is Extrinsic Motivation Effective Enough?

Even if you are making money for what you do professionally, it is not always possible to love your work. Whether you want or not, extrinsic motivation helps you carry on a run-of-the-mill activity. Even if you are intrinsically motivated, you might need extrinsic motivation at some point for you to complete the job.

If you don’t believe this, just think of yourself and your daily life for a moment. In your life, you need to involve yourself in a lot of things. This includes both things you like and things you don’t. For these

If you can gather some extrinsic motivation to perform a task, it is of no harm. Moreover, it’s a useful tool for staying motivated. It helps you to keep yourself on track. Whether it’s boring home assignment given by your teacher or an unexciting office project, if you keep an eye on the coveted extensive rewards, you can perform your to-dos well.

Despite having a few negative issues such as fading away of natural interest or working under obligation, this reward-driven inspiration model works almost always.

Keep It Tight

The best way of motivating yourself in this way is to keep it as rigid as possible. The reward should not be just for a few activities. While dealing with children, you should be more conscious as the outcome might be more complicated than in adults. Your goal should be to create an intrinsic form of motivation to deal with the actions.

By now, you’re probably thinking about how big the effect of extrinsic motivation can be. However, it has several limitations too. As you engage in something, your thoughts will start to revolve around the process of that particular activity. And therefore, you will eventually lose the extrinsic motivation to do the task.

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