When intrinsically motivated, people engage in an activity because they experience it as interesting and enjoyable. Intrinsic motivation is the prototype of autonomous motivation, for people engage in the activity with a sense of self-initiation, choice, and volition. In contrast, when extrinsically motivated, people engage in the activity because it is instrumental to a separate though desirable consequence—for example, attaining a reward or avoiding a punishment. With extrinsic motivation, satisfaction comes not from the activity itself but, rather, from attaining the extrinsic consequences to which the activity leads. Research has shown that optimal challenge, positive performance feedback, and choice about activities stimulate interest and enhance intrinsic motivation. In contrast, contingent rewards, surveillance, and threats are often highlighted as factors that enhance extrinsic motivation.

Although some motivation ...

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