Motivation: Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is the major diver or force that we use to achieve our life time goals and aspirations. Although we are not in a position to touch or see the motivation, we are able to present our motivation through our thoughts and deeds. Motivation is essential for the survival of human beings. There are two types of motivation such as intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is occurred due to the internal factors. For example, the love of intellectual challenge or desire to be expertise of a field of study is known as intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is occurred from the external factors to the person. For example, getting a degree, recognition from teachers and class mates, and winning a lottery etc.

There are number of motivation theories, which describe the factors affect human motivation. Economic motivation theory indicates that human beings are rationale and they attempt to pursue self-interest. According to this theory, a student selects his/her major that offers him/her good income after graduation. Therefore, economic motivation theory identifies rewards and punishments as economic motivators. Social theory indicates that humans are social beings and therefore, they are motivated by social relationships such as social norms and groups. Behavioristic theory shows that learning is motivated when appropriate incentives or stimuli are presented. According to need driven approach humans are partially motivated by external factors. However, intrinsic needs are the major drivers of human behavior. Cognitive motivation theory indicates that human thoughts and persons’ personal history affect his/her current actions or behavior.

Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has its’ own advantages and disadvantages. However, motivation theories provide important insight for designing adult learning programs. Since intrinsic motivation is internal to the human life, it is not easy to apply for designing adult learning program. In some instances, students may have hardships related to their personal lives and therefore, they may not have enough motivation for enrolling learning activities. Under such circumstances, I should create environment where students pursue learning activities. In doing so, I should listen to the students and get to know about their interests, and dreams. Then, I should include such information to prepare a curriculum for adult learners. In doing so, I would be able to create interests among adult learners for learning activities.

Compared to the intrinsic motivation, it is easy to establish the extrinsic motivation when a teacher knows about the external factors that pursue students for learning activities. There are various rewards such as job, social recognition, and money that pursue students for learning activities. Such reward system teaches students to devote considerable effort for learning activities. The extrinsic motivation creates additional costs for motivators. When I attempt to apply extrinsic factors for teaching activities, first I discuss my students’ goals and aspirations. Then, I include such goals and aspiration in adult learning curriculum as final outcome of the learning process. For example, my discussion with students revealed that their main goal of learning is to secure a job. Then, I will prepare adult learning curriculum which include co-op education as part of the study program. Since, co-op education explores opportunities for students to secure jobs, such a curriculum may motivate students for learning activities.

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