Intrinsic Versus Extrinsic Motivation
People are either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated to do a task (Cerasoli et al., 2014). However, an individual’s motivation can shift from intrinsic to extrinsic or extrinsic to intrinsic. Most theories and models of motivation account for changes in motivation. According to these theories of motivation, there is no definite gap between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. For example, an individual who is extrinsically motivated can shift to being intrinsically motivated. If a student does not enjoy learning, extrinsic motivation can drive them to work harder (Cerasoli et al., 2014). After seeing the benefits of working harder, the student will develop a personal desire to want to work harder. If working harder proves relevant, over time, the student will be more driven by intrinsic motivation. This shows that motivation can shift from intrinsic to extrinsic or vice versa.
One of the theories supporting this position is self-determination theory. According to this theory, human beings are complex. They are rarely driven by extrinsic or intrinsic motivation only. On the contrary, individuals with be driven by different types of motivation at different times. Other factors such as desires and goals influence the type of motivation that will drive an individual (Ryan & Deci, 2000). This indicates that motivation can shift at any time. In a certain situation, an individual will be extrinsically motivated by external regulation, identified regulation, or integrated regulation. In another situation, an individual will be intrinsically motivated by intrinsic regulation (Cerasoli et al., 2014). According to the self-determination theory model, three basic needs, that is relatedness, competence, and autonomy determine the type of motivation that will drive people (Flannery, 2017). Also, life goals or aspirations determine the type of motivation that guides individual behaviors. This indicates that motivation can shift from intrinsic to extrinsic or extrinsic to intrinsic.
Cerasoli, C. P., Nicklin, J. M., & Ford, M. T. (2014). Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic incentives jointly predict performance: A 40-year meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 980–1008.
Flannery, M. (2017). Self-Determination Theory: Intrinsic Motivation and Behavioral Change. Oncology Nursing Forum, 44 (2), 155–156.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 54–67.