Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

  • Lisa LegaultEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1139-1


Intrinsic motivation – interest, enjoyment, inherent satisfaction

Extrinsic motivation – instrumental motivation, noninherent motivation


Intrinsic motivation (IM) refers to engagement in behavior that is inherently satisfying or enjoyable. IM is noninstrumental in nature, that is, intrinsically motivated action is not contingent upon any outcome separable from the behavior itself. Rather, the means and end are one and the same. For example, a child may play outdoors – running, skipping, jumping – for no other reason than because it is fun and innately satisfying.

Conversely, Extrinsic motivation (EM) refers to performance of behavior that is fundamentally contingent upon the attainment of an outcome that is separable from the action itself. In other words, EM is instrumental in nature. It is performed in order to attain some other outcome. For instance, a teenager might wash dishes at home in order to receive an allowance. Similarly, a student may study for a test i...


Social Environment Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation Behavioral Reinforcement Extrinsic Reward 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clarkson UniversityPotsdamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Christian Jordan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada