Changy Psychology: Extrinsic Motivation

recently wrote about building up a resource for Change knowledge here within this very Blog. Finally I got the time to deal with some basic psychological questions of Change. I am looking forward to be able to share those insights on “Change Psychology” with you, here.

Extrinsic motivation is when I am motivated by external factors, as opposed to the internal drivers of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation drives me to do things for tangible rewards or pressures, rather than for the fun of it.

Supermarkets use loyalty cards and discounts, airlines use air miles, companies use bonuses and commissions. Extrinsic motivation is everywhere.

So what?
You can offer positive motivations such as rewards and other bribery or you can use negative motivation such as threats and blackmail. Either way, extrinsic motivation is crude, easy and often effective. However it focuses people on the reward and not the action. Stop giving the reward and they’ll stop the behavior. This can, in fact, be useful when you want them to stop doing something: first give them extrinsic rewards for doing the unwanted behavior, then remove the reward.

Psychology of Change (Picture source: Original article taken from
Psychology of Change (Picture source:
Original article taken from

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