Prajakta is an entrepreneur who’s successfully running her own business. She’s passionate about her work and enjoys starting her days early.

Her friends, on the other hand, don’t exactly share her enthusiasm. For them, their corporate jobs are just that. They do what’s expected—maybe more if there’s something in it for them.

Prajakta is motivated by internal factors like personal satisfaction and a drive to achieve her goals. Her friends are motivated by external factors like their salaries or incentives.

Learn more about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Evaluate what type of motivation encourages you to take action, change your behavior or make choices in your personal and professional life!

  1. Intrinsic Motivation And Extrinsic Motivation—A Comparison

  2. Difference Between Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation    

  3. Motivation Can Be Found Everywhere

Intrinsic Motivation And Extrinsic Motivation—A Comparison

According to theories of motivation developed by psychologists and academicians, there are two broad types of motivation—intrinsic and extrinsic. Both are inherently different in terms of how they motivate us to act or behave.

Intrinsic motivation is rooted in an innate desire to perform a task or make a decision, whereas extrinsic motivation is driven by external forces.

Psychologists Richard Ryan and Edward Deci defined the theory of motivation with respect to self-determination. High self-determination—or the ability to make choices or take action—depends primarily on intrinsic factors. People who are internally motivated are more creative and productive. This is due, in part, because of a desire to achieve peak performance and excel in their field.

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation may lower intrinsic motivation.

Here’s an example:

Say you enjoy watching documentaries because you get to learn something new about the world. Now imagine all your friends start watching the same stories, even more than you. You’ll likely become competitive and try to outdo them. Ultimately, you’ll lose interest and move to some other activity that gives you pleasure.

It’s common to do things because others are doing it. At work, you may be keen to join in on social events because of a fear of missing out. But not all extrinsic motivation is bad if handled in moderation.

Difference Between Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are rooted in what drives us to act. Our behavior is based on whether we’re interested in doing something or what we get out of it. In some cases, intrinsic motivation decreases in the presence of external motivation

Let’s look at the key differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation:

  1. Learn Vs Teach

Intrinsic motivation encourages us to seek knowledge and learn new things because we have a desire to. But extrinsic motivation may be used to teach others or help them learn. When we’re motivated by personal interest and satisfaction, we’re more likely to learn something that we find enjoyable. Extrinsic factors like praise, however, drive us to learn because we want to score well on an exam to get into our dream college.

  1. Play Vs Work

Where intrinsic motivation makes us perceive our tasks as play, extrinsic motivation can make it seem as work. This is one of the reasons why you should engage in some activities just for fun—not because you want to make a living off them. If used correctly external motivation like getting along with your teammates can also make work seem like play. It’s about finding the middle ground between both types of motivation.

  1. Rewarding Vs Rewards

Work can be rewarding if done by our own choice. But sometimes when external rewards are added to the equation, you may find that you’re more productive. At work, there’s a mix of internal and external rewards that push us to perform.

The difference between intrinsic and extrinsic is something comes from within and others that are external. If we can work on finding the balance between what motivates us, we’re more likely to perform to the best of our abilities.

Some examples of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the workplace are:

You’re intrinsically motivated if you:

  • Participate in social events because you enjoy spending time with your colleagues outside of work

  • Volunteer to work on a project unrelated to your job role because it’s something you’re passionate about

You’re extrinsically motivated if you:

  • Speak up in meetings because you want to make a good impression at work

  • Clock in overtime so you can have your weekends free

Motivation Can Be Found Everywhere

If you know where to search, you can find the motivation to act, make decisions and change your behavior. The first thing you need to do is build self-awareness. Harappa’s Interpreting Self course will teach you how to answer questions like “who am I?”, “what do I want?” and “what’s my work style?”. Once you have these answers, you can determine your values and beliefs to identify what drives you. Achieve excellence in your personal and professional life with the right mindset and approach!


Explore topics such as What is Self-Motivation, How to Develop Self-Awareness, How to Improve Self-Management, What is Intrinsic Motivation, How Extrinsic Motivation Impacts Your Life & Guide to Personal SWOT Analysis from Harappa Diaries to become the best version of yourself.

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