Series on Meaningfulness at Work: Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by internal rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behaviour arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. This contrasts with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behaviour in order to earn external rewards or avoid punishments. Of course, that isn’t to say that intrinsically motivated behaviour are without their own rewards. Instead, these rewards involve creating positive emotions within the individual. Activities can generate such feelings when they give people a sense of meaning (like participating in volunteer or church events), a sense of progress (seeing that your work is accomplishing something positive), or competence (learning something new or becoming more skilled at a task).

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