Extrinsic Motivation

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  • Motivation that comes from outside an individual, such as the drive to obtain money or rewards, which provides pleasure that the task that one does to obtain the reward does not provide in itself. Extrinsic motivation might cause a person to work on a task even when he or she has no interest in it because the anticipated reward for doing the task provides satisfaction (e.g., the paycheck). Companies use extrinsic motivation to obtain customer loyalty by mechanisms such as reward cards or airline miles programs. The main problem with using extrinsic motivation to obtain desired behaviors is that the focus is on the reward and not on the behavior; once the reward is removed, the behavior is usually extinguished.

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