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Motivation...intrinsic or extrinsic?


Donna
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Do you find that you kids are more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated? Do you think their motivating factors came about more by nature or nuture? Do you think you can change what motivates someone? Have you found techniques that worked for you?

 

I have been thinking about this. I have two kids who are more intrinsically motivated. They work hard simply for the sake of working hard whether or not anyone notices...though often people do notice in some areas of their lives. But they learn for learning's sake rather than because they are being graded or will get in trouble if they don't. I am that way as well but my husband and other ds need some reason to work on something. My husband seems to need someone to notice things he does well and gets frustrated if no one does...if he feels unappreciated. I am not saying it as a bad thing... just a difference. Knowing that about him helps keep our marriage happy because I make a point of thanking him for little things he does and he feels appreciated.

 

I did not purposefully bring the kids up any differently in their early years though there are always the influences of birth order and family situations. I have even purposefully tried to help my ds become more intrinsically motived over the years (read the book Mindset and tried implementing those techniques), so I am leaning more toward it being a personality trait.

 

Just wondered what others thought.

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I don't think you can create internal drive. My kids all tend to have areas where they have that internal motivation that pushes them beyond their normal skill level......with one it is art, with another it is math, with another it is skating, etc. They spend hours doing those things for no other reason than the self-satisfaction they get from their own goal driven accomplishments.

 

However, the external motivation.....that is something different. Not everyone needs external motivation to do what is expected to be done. Some acknowledge that what needs to be done just needs to be done and then they do it. Others obviously do need some mitigating factor. For example, in college, some kids do homework regardless of whether it is graded or not b/c they understand that they should do it and that it will increase their understanding. Others only acknowledge that fact when they get back their tests and it either affirms or disproves that premise.

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I don't think you can create internal drive. .

 

 

:iagree: Nor can you "take the batteries" out. Both my girls seem very driven when it comes to certain things. My big girl is driven when it comes to math and science. But reading, not so much. I try my best to nuture her drives but sometimes I'm just too darn tired!

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Do you find that you kids are more intrinsically or extrinsically motivated?

 

I'm thinking of the term "driven." My two oldest are driven (intrinsically motivated) in their areas of passion. In "school subjects" they don't like or topics in which they have no interest they are extrinsically motivated.

 

From what I've seen in the classroom this is pretty standard: kids have intrinsic motivation if the topic interests them. In order to get them to do things they wouldn't otherwise do, we (as adults) use extrinsic motivation (grades, impending treats/parties/events, peer pressure, threats, consequences).

 

but my husband and other ds need some reason to work on something. My husband seems to need someone to notice things he does well and gets frustrated if no one does...if he feels unappreciated. I am not saying it as a bad thing... just a difference.

 

Maybe people who seek praise, acknowledgement, or appreciation are more people-oriented? Could they also be the personality types that are more easily influenced by others' opinions or peer pressure?

 

I have one who is more of a follower and one who is rather nonconformist. The follower is people-oriented and likes feedback from others (she also seeks an audience). She relies on extrinsic motivation for academic topics that are not her main passion. The nonconformist is more independent with "schoolwork" and will pursue information about a topic and/or do the work for the sake of doing the work, seeming to be the more responsible, self-motivated student. (Not sure if that made sense.)

 

 

I am leaning more toward it being a personality trait.

Me too.

 

Just wondered what others thought.

 

Personality differences among siblings are interesting, aren't they?

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Maybe people who seek praise, acknowledgement, or appreciation are more people-oriented? Could they also be the personality types that are more easily influenced by others' opinions or peer pressure? I think you may be right on with that. My husband was always in the "in" crowd in high school while I, though, I probably would have been considered "in" by others because I was friendly with everyone, never went for the partying and drinking.

 

I also fear more for my more extrinsically motivated child when it comes to peer pressure. I never really thought of one going with the other (peer pressure and motivation source). But it makes sense because he does just seem to blow with the wind sometimes. He is in school this year for the first time and I really worried about him going in, whether he would handle the workload. It seems from the conversations we have that the peer pressure and wanting to be better than other kids is what is motivating him to be more responsible as a student.

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