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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

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Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Synonyms

Intrinsic motivation – interest, enjoyment, inherent satisfaction

Extrinsic motivation – instrumental motivation, noninherent motivation

Definitions

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...

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Correspondence to Lisa Legault .

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Legault, L. (2020). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1139

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