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Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation: where somebody wants to do something for themselves, for the sake of doing it and doing it well.

Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles

Self-determination Theory distinguishes between two different kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Individuals that are intrinsically motivated to carry out a task do so because of the enjoyment or fulfillment that is, in their perception, inherent to the task.

Conversely, extrinsic motivation is external to the task itself: individuals perform the task to reach another goal, such as obtaining a reward, avoiding punishment, or gaining in social status.

The most important supporting factors for intrinsic motivation are perceived autonomy and competence. Both must be present for intrinsic motivation to thrive.

Facilitators for perceived competence are, for example, optimal challenges, positive performance feedback, and freedom from demeaning evaluations.

At the same time, the individual must experience her behavior as self-determined, i.e., experience autonomy. Relatedness can further support intrinsic motivations.

The sustainability of engaging in an activity, productivity, and the well-being of individuals are associated with motivations that are more intrinsic.

Self-determination Theory: Understanding Human Motivation for Fun and Profit

People need to feel appreciated and safe, to give themselves to an activity; and they need to feel like they are making progress to keep giving themselves to it. To get into The Zone, you need to know you’re getting somewhere, that you’re in the process of mastering a skill – you need ongoing feedback, whether from another person or another source. There is also something uniquely satisfying about working with other people effectively, towards a shared goal; in my experience there is no substitute when it comes to building a community.

Flow states are the pinnacle of intrinsic motivation, where somebody wants to do something for themselves, for the sake of doing it and doing it well.

Flow allows us to recharge, to feel a sense of achievement and satisfaction, and a kind of respite from the often-baffling demands of the school social environment.

Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles

How do we build learning environments that embrace intrinsic motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose?

The Gift: LD/ADHD Reframed

Further reading,