While some psychologists still argue that people perform better when they do something because they want to – rather than for some kind of reward, such as money -- Steven Reiss suggests we shouldnt even make that distinction.
Reiss, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University , argues that a diverse range of human motivations cant be forced into these categories of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Psycholgists say intrinsic motivations are those that arise from within – doing something because you want to – while extrinsic motivations mean people are seeking a reward, such as money, a good grade in class, or a trophy at a sporting event.
“They are taking many diverse human needs and motivations, putting them into just two categories, and then saying one type of motivation is better than another,” said Reiss, who outlines his argument in the current issue of the journal Behavior Analyst.
Steven Reiss | EurekAlert!
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