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Extrinsic motivation

General scientific definition

A person is inclined to do a specific task because the person would like to have the material reward (or avoid a sanction) attached to (not) doing that task. A change in the reward structure will lead to a change in behaviour.  

Relevant substantive theories

  • Self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan)


  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "What" and "Why" of Goal Pursuits: Human Needs and the Self-Determination of Behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268. doi:10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01


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