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3 Rules of Combining Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is essential for achieving success; that’s a fact. When we feel motivated, we perform better, learn faster, and do our best to achieve our goals.

The only problem with motivation is that it’s not a constant thing. It fluctuates a lot. Sometimes motivation is high. We feel enthusiastic and are ready to work hard. Sometimes motivation is low, and we feel empty and uninterested in life. We are unable to complete even the simplest tasks.

Teens, more than other age groups, are affected by sudden motivational ups and downs. So whether you are a parent, teacher, or mentor, you should find a way to keep teenagers’ motivation on a high level. Today, we will help you learn more on this topic and provide you with the rules of combining intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

What Is Extrinsic Motivation?

Extrinsic motivation is the eagerness and interest to carry out a specific action or task to get an external reward like high grades, money, or praise. The action or process itself doesn’t drive extrinsically motivated teens. They work on school assignments and other tasks just because they want to get a reward, not because they enjoy the process or want to benefit from it.

In other words, if we assign an extrinsically motivated student John with an essay, he will write a good paper just because he wants to get A+ and our praise.

What Is Intrinsic Motivation?

Intrinsic motivation is all about internal rewards like enjoyment, recognition, a sense of accomplishment, and the need to satisfy curiosity. Intrinsically motivated individuals seek to complete an action because they enjoy the process, not because they were promised a reward.

If we ask an intrinsically motivated student Dave to write an essay, he will craft an outstanding paper because he enjoys the writing process and needs a sense of accomplishment. Dave does not really care whether we will praise him or not. He will write a good essay anyway.

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Why Should We Combine Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation?

Researchers say that intrinsic motivation works more effectively than extrinsic motivation. But the problem is that the vast majority of teens lack intrinsic motivation. They enjoy playing video games and TikTok scrolling way more than studying and essay writing.

If you want to help your teens achieve higher results, you should leverage intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Here are three rules you should follow.

3 Rules of Combining Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Help Teens Set SMART Goals

Goal setting goes hand in hand with intrinsic motivation. When teenagers have a goal, they understand the reason why they should push their limits. They see more clearly why they should work, study, and complete challenging tasks.

If your teens haven’t defined their SMART goals yet, you should help them do it right now. You can offer teenagers to use an app that allows set goals, track progress, and get rewards.

Setting goals applies to any sphere of life, including school projects, hobbies, art projects, and sport. So make sure that your teens have multiple goals.

Provide Teens with Choices

Be aware that control and supervision kill intrinsic motivation. If you force teens to do something, they will have no motivation to work on tasks.

Teenagers want to have more freedom. They want to choose what to wear, what to eat, and what to study. Even though they are not adults yet, they want to have control over their lives.

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, try to provide teens with choices. Let them decide what custom essay writing services are better to use and what essay topics are better to cover. Offer them a few options and allow them to make a final choice – guide teens “invisibly” towards the desired learning (or any other) outcome.

Give Positive Feedback

If you say to your teen, “You’ve done a great job!” it will count as praise that works as extrinsic motivation. But if you give positive feedback and provide more details on what specifically teens have done right, it will trigger intrinsic motivation. Let’s consider an example to understand how it works.

Imagine you’ve asked your son to clean the house before the birthday party. How will you praise him for the job done?

Here are two possible scenarios.

Scenario#1. You can say, “Well done!”.

In this case, your son will see your praise as the only motivation to clean the house. Naturally, he will not be enthusiastic about vacuuming the living room next time, and the quality of his work will not be that high.

Scenario#2. You can give such positive feedback.

“Wow! The living room is super clean! I’m so proud of you! I have never seen this table so shiny. It looks like it’s brand new. And take a look at how well you have vacuumed the carpet! It’s 100% dust-free now. Your uncle Kevin is an asthmatic; he will appreciate your cleaning efforts a lot.”

If you put it this way, your son will see that he cleans the room, not just for the sake of it. He will understand that his efforts will make a big difference – uncle Kevin will avoid an asthma attack, and the living room will look more inviting and comfortable to stay in.

When you ask your son to clean the room next time, he will be intrinsically motivated. He will be enthusiastic about vacuuming the carpet because he knows that his work is necessary and important and that others will recognize his effort.

If you aim to help your teens, give them positive feedback regularly. It will not cost you a thing but benefit them a lot.

Wrapping Up

Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are both important. So don’t focus only on one type of motivation. Combine intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to help your teens thrive in life.

Be there for your teens when they need you the most. Support them in every way you can, but make sure that you are not overly intrusive.

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Meet the Author: Jessica Fender

Jessica Fender is a professional writer, educational blogger, and editor at Essaysupply. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.

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