What’s the difference between Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Rewards

A very common question in gamification is “What is the difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic” when talking about rewards and motivation. Well..

  • Intrinsic motivation: Personal/internal needs and reasons acting.
    • Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are examples of this.
    • You don’t play video games for the reward, you play because you enjoy them
    • You read for pleasure, not monetary reward.
    • You spend time with your family because you want to.
    • Learn because you want to improve and be better.
  • Extrinsic reward: An external reward, such as money, that is used to encourage action.
    • Studying just to get a good grade, not the experience of learning.
    • Use a shop because they have a loyalty card.
    • Do your job just for the pay cheque.
    • Only exercise because you want to get the 10,000 steps badge.

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