Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Intrinsic: Intrinsic are properties which are not caused by relationships to other objects, e.g. to have a certain age. Intrinsic properties are not to be confused with essential properties, e.g. a certain age is usually not essential for an object. Extrinsic properties are, e.g. to be famous, that is to say, properties which arise from the fact that there are other objects, and these other objects have a relation to the object in question.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
Corr I 442
intrinsic/extrinsic Motivation/Deci/Ryan:
Def Intrinsic motivation/Deci/Ryan: refers to doing an activity because the activity itself is interesting and spontaneously satisfying (Ryan and Deci 2000)(1). Intrinsic motivation is said to be invariantly autonomous or self-determined because it is a reflection of people’s inner interests. In other words, when intrinsically motivated, people experience volition and a sense of choice as they fully endorse the activities in which they are engaged.
Terminology: Csikszentmihalyi (1990)(2) referred to intrinsically motivated activities as autotelic.
Def Extrinsic motivation/Deci/Ryan: In contrast, extrinsic motivation refers to doing an activity because it is instrumental to some operationally separable consequence. The classic instance of extrinsic motivation is doing an activity because it is expected to lead to a reward or the avoidance of a punishment.
Self-Determination Theory/SDT: suggests, that extrinsic motivation can be internalized and thus can become a basis for autonomous actions. >Self-Determination/Deci/Ryan, >Internalization/Deci/Ryan.
Four types of extrinsic motivation:
external regulation
introjected regulation
identified regulation
integrated regulation
>Regulation/Deci/Ryan, >Environment/Deci/Ryan.
Corr I 449
Intrinsicness/extrinsic/Self-Determination Theory/SDT//Deci/Ryan: which types of goals or aspirations do people pursue in their lives? Kasser and Ryan (1993(3), 1996(4)) examined two sets of goals: those for wealth, fame as intrinsic goals. The researchers hypothesized that the intrinsic goals would be associated with greater wellbeing than would the extrinsic goals because intrinsic goals are more closely linked to satisfaction of the basic psychological needs.
Kasser and Ryan found that the relative importance people place on extrinsic goals was negatively related to indicators of wellbeing, whereas the relative importance they placed on intrinsic goals was positively related to the same indicators of wellbeing. Sheldon, Ryan, Deci and Kasser (2004)(5) showed that both the goal contents (extrinsic versus intrinsic) people pursue and the motives they have for pursuing the goals (controlled versus autonomous) are associated with their wellbeing. >Motivation/Deci/Ryan, >Regulation/Deci/Ryan, >Self-Determination Theory/Deci/Ryan.

1. Deci, E. L. and Ryan, R. M. 2000. The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of goal pursuits: human needs and the self-determination of behaviour, Psychological Inquiry 11: 227–68
2. Csikszentmihalyi, M. 1990. Flow. New York: Harper and Row
3. Kasser, T. and Ryan, R. M. 1993. A dark side of the American dream: correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 65: 410–22
4. Kasser, T. and Ryan, R. M. 1996. Further examining the American dream: differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 22: 80–7
5. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R. M., Deci, E. L. and Kasser, T. 2004. The independent effects of goal contents and motives on well-being: it’s both what you pursue and why you pursue it, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30: 475–86

Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, „Self-determination theory: a consideration of human motivational universals“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Deci, Edward L.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018

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