Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jasmine KeLa

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation How to Avoid Common Mistakes and Encourage Long-Term Development

Which is More Effective for Your Child?

How to Utilize Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation for Your Child’s Growth?

Have you ever observed that your youngster likes some hobbies more than others? Maybe kids adore drawing or playing with Legos, and will happily spend hours doing it without any external reward or encouragement. This is an example of intrinsic motivation, which refers to the inherent drive to engage in an activity for its own purpose.

Conversely, you may have also seen that your youngster responds well to prizes or praise, or may be more inclined to comply when threatened with a penalty. This is an example of extrinsic motivation, which refers to the drive to engage in an activity for external rewards or avoidance of negative consequences.

Explanation of the notion of motivation and why parents must grasp it

As a parent, it’s crucial to grasp the difference between these two types of motivation and how they can effect your child’s development. In this post, we’ll explore the topic of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation in more detail and discuss how you can maintain a good balance between the two. Don’t worry, we’ll keep everything basic and easy to comprehend, without any complex jargon or technical language.

Motivation is a complex psychological notion that refers to the forces that drive and control human conduct. Knowing motivation is crucial as parents because it can help us better understand our children’s behavior and guide them towards good habits and beneficial outcomes.

Brief description of the two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic

There are two basic types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation refers to the inherent drive to engage in an activity for its own sake, without any external rewards or incentives. It’s the kind of motivation that comes from within and is driven by personal interest, satisfaction, or a sense of accomplishment. In contrast, extrinsic motivation refers to the drive to engage in an activity for external rewards or to avoid undesirable consequences. This form of motivation is generally influenced by external stimuli such as prizes, praise, grades, or punishment.

While both types of motivation can be useful in motivating behavior, research reveals that intrinsic motivation is often more advantageous in the long term. Children that are intrinsically motivated are more likely to like what they’re doing, persist in the face of adversity, and be more creative in their thinking. They’re also more likely to have a lifetime love of learning and pursue pursuits that provide them actual happiness and fulfillment.

On the other hand, focusing too heavily on extrinsic incentives can have detrimental implications. Children driven solely by incentives or punishments may become overly dependent on external validation and lose sight of their internal drive and interests. They may also be less prone to take chances, explore new interests, or develop a sense of intrinsic joy in their accomplishments.

Parents may better support their children’s growth and development by knowing the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic drives. In the upcoming sections, we’ll explore each form of motivation in more detail and discuss how you can foster a healthy balance between the two.

II. Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the form of motivation that comes from inside and is driven by personal interest, delight, or a sense of success. Children that are intrinsically motivated are more likely to engage in things because they find them fundamentally rewarding or delightful, rather than because of external rewards or incentives.

Research reveals that numerous crucial characteristics help enhance intrinsic motivation in youngsters. These include:

Autonomy: Children who feel like they have power over their own behaviours and decisions are more likely to be intrinsically driven. As a parent, you may encourage your child’s autonomy by offering choices, enabling them to make their own decisions, and encouraging them to take ownership of their goals and achievements.
Competence: Children who feel competent and capable are more likely to be intrinsically driven. To promote your child’s sense of competence, create opportunities for them to learn new skills, challenge themselves, and receive feedback on their progress.

III. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to the impulse to engage in an activity for external rewards or to avoid negative consequences. Extrinsically motivated children may be driven by the promise of a reward or by the threat of punishment.

Examples of extrinsic motivation in children include earning a sticker or award for good behavior, being promised a special treat for finishing a task, or being threatened with a consequence for misbehaving.

While extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term, it has several drawbacks when fostering long-term motivation and engagement in children. For one, children who rely too much on extrinsic rewards may grow less interested in the action itself, and more focused on the reward. This can lower their enjoyment of the activity and reduce their motivation to continue engaging in it without the promise of a reward.

Additionally, extrinsic motivation can create a reliance on external validation, meaning that children may become less likely to engage in an activity unless they know they will receive some kind of reward or praise for doing so. This can hinder their ability to build a sense of internal motivation and can make it more difficult for them to persist in the face of challenges or disappointments.

Overall, while extrinsic motivation can be useful in certain contexts, parents should be mindful of the potential drawbacks and strive to foster intrinsic motivation in their children whenever possible.

IV. Finding a Balance

While both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have their benefits and pitfalls, finding a balance between the two is vital for effective parenting. By developing intrinsic drive in children, parents can assist their children develop a sense of autonomy, satisfaction, and long-term engagement with their interests. At the same time, applying extrinsic incentive properly can help youngsters stay on course, develop new abilities, and achieve their goals.

Here are some recommendations for parents to find a balance between intrinsic and extrinsic drive in their parenting:

Foster intrinsic drive by giving opportunities for exploration and discovery. Encourage your child to explore new things and engage in activities that they find fascinating and entertaining. This can help youngsters develop a sense of curiosity, creativity, and ownership over their activities.
Avoid excessive praise and awards. While praise and rewards can be effective in motivating children, overusing them can create a reliance on external validation and reduce the child’s enjoyment of the activity. Instead, focus on delivering constructive feedback and stressing the child’s effort and growth rather than their achievements.
Use rewards as a temporary motivation. If you do want to use rewards, make sure they are transitory and don’t become the primary motivator for your child’s conduct. Use them sparingly and gradually phase them out when your youngster develops a sense of intrinsic motivation.
Focus on effort rather than outcomes. Encourage your child to focus on learning and growing, rather than merely reaching a single objective. This can help kids build a growth mentality and a sense of resilience in the face of adversity.

By balancing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in their parenting, parents may help their children develop a healthy sense of motivation and engagement with their activities, both in the short and long term.

V. Conclusion

In conclusion, knowing the function of motivation in parenting is vital for developing well-adjusted and self-motivated children. Intrinsic motivation, motivated by internal elements such as enjoyment and curiosity, is frequently more effective in generating long-term engagement and satisfaction than extrinsic motivation, which relies on external rewards or penalties. However, finding a balance between the two types of motivation is important, as both can be used effectively in different situations. Parents may develop intrinsic motivation by offering opportunities for inquiry and discovery, avoiding excessive praise and rewards, and allowing children to pursue their interests. Extrinsic motivation can be employed efficiently by employing rewards as a temporary motivator, emphasizing on effort rather than outcomes, and offering explicit expectations and consequences. By reflecting on their own attitude to motivation and making modifications as needed, parents may help their children develop a healthy and self-motivated approach to life.