What is Intrinsic Motivation? Examples of Intrinsic Motivation

 A variety of hypotheses have been presented to explain intrinsic motivation and how it operates. Some experts argue that external rewards, such as money, status, or food, drive all action. The reward for intrinsically driven acts is the activity itself.

People’s wants and impulses were the foundation of the most widely accepted notion of intrinsic motivation. Hunger, thirst, and sex are basic requirements that we must satisfy in order to survive and stay healthy.

People have psychological needs, just as they do biological requirements, that must be met in order for them to develop and survive. Competence, autonomy, and relatedness are among these requirements.

In addition to meeting these underlying psychological requirements, intrinsic motivation entails searching out and participating in activities that are challenging, fascinating, and internally fulfilling without the expectation of receiving a monetary return.

What is Intrinsic Motivation Examples of Intrinsic Motivation


To comprehend intrinsic motivation, it is necessary to first comprehend what it is to be intrinsic.

The term “intrinsic” refers to something that is present in nature. It’s also known as “inner,” which refers to something that comes from within.

Intrinsic motivation is an inner drive that motivates a person to pursue an activity because the action is rewarding in and of itself.

In other words, a person is motivated by the enjoyment, challenge, or satisfaction that activity provides, rather than by an external outcome, pressure, or reward.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are the two basic types of motivation in psychology.

And, as you might expect, being extrinsically motivated means doing something for a distinct reason, such as receiving a prize or avoiding punishment.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motives work together to create the underlying reasons, attitudes, and goals that shape human action.

They are, in essence, the “why” of everything we do.


  • You study math because you love solving problems, not because you want to please your parents;
  • Working hard because you love being competent at it rather than earning a bonus volunteering because you enjoy helping others, not because you want others to like you.
  • Instead of having a goal for losing weight, you go for a stroll to unwind.
  • Instead of following societal rules, play with your child because you like spending time with them, not because you want to avoid a tantrum. 
  • You say thank you because you want to show gratitude, not because you want to avoid a tantrum.
  • Preparing a meal because you enjoy cooking dishes, not because you are hungry
  • Making a craft because you enjoy being creative rather than selling it for money
  • Learning a new language because you enjoy learning new things, not because you want to work overseas
  • Tutoring small children because you enjoy teaching them, not because you want to earn a salary
  • You take on additional responsibility at work because you love being challenged and feeling accomplished
  • Rather than selling your work to get money, you paint a picture because it makes you feel tranquil and happy.


Some things you can do to help you practise stronger intrinsic motivation are as follows:

  • Look for the enjoyable aspects of your job and other hobbies, or find ways to make things more interesting for yourself.
  • Focus on your worth, the purpose of an activity, and how it benefits others to find meaning.
  • Set reasonable goals that focus on mastering a skill rather than external gains to keep oneself challenged.
  • Help someone in need, whether it’s a friend who needs a hand at home or a soup kitchen volunteer.
  • Make a list of things you truly enjoy or have always wanted to do, and pick one from the list to do when you have free time or are feeling uninspired.
  • Instead of focusing on winning, enter a competition and focus on the camaraderie and how well you do.
  • Visualize a period when you felt proud and accomplished before beginning a task, and focus on those sentiments as you work to complete the activity.

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