Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Motivating learners has always been my philosophy of education in teaching kids. It is known that it is categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic. Now with young kids as little as  in preschool or kindergarten, the extrinsic motivation works very well. But as the students grow up and move to higher grades, I realized that they get least interested in extrinsic incentives like praise and rewards etc. In this case, the motivation becomes more internal. So, it is assumed that in adults also needs more internal motivation. However, after reading this article, I realized that adults are also get externally motivated. “Rewards—such as a job promotion, money, a sticker, or candy—are good examples of extrinsic motivators”. It is studied that with continuous exposure to external motivators, the internal motivation diminishes. Also, in some cases, the external motivators like praise could actually increase internal motivation. However, it varies from individual to individual and therefore, its concluded that external motivators could have varying effect on individuals internal motivation.

Source: Boundless. “Incentive Theory of Motivation and Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation.” Boundless Psychology. Boundless, 20 Sep. 2016. Retrieved 04 Nov. 2016 from


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