Intrinsic motivation and grading’s’ detrimental effects on self-motivated learning

In this final blog I will evaluate intrinsic motivation and how blog writing have increased my motivation for active learning however also argue that grades as external rewards are detrimental for this intrinsically motivated behaviour.


Schatner (2011) identified that intrinsic motivation is what’s coming from within the individual, something we do out of our own interest or enjoyment. I have found that when looking for material myself I experience a higher satisfaction by learning the material, as explained by Deci et al. (1999) that intrinsically motivated student would experience higher engagement with a task and an overall better psychological well-being.


Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can affect motivation and self-esteem both positively and negatively and behaviours no longer externally rewarded will cease to occur (Benabou & Tirole 2003). It’s been supported that as external reward decreases the intrinsic motivation increases. Additionally, with an increasing external reward the overall task quality performance is decreased to noticeable levels (Fehr & Falk, 1999; Fehr & Schmidt, 2000; Gneezy & Rustichini, 2000; Deci, 1975). These findings would suggest that motivation for blog writing for modules would increase if they were less heavily weighted as the external reward is decreased.


            As extrinsic motivation is focused on the reward rather then the work, it can damage intrinsic motivation. The problem with expecting external rewards for behaviour is that eventually the reward will disappear, as there is no one to give you that reward for learning. As stated in above paragraphs, a none-externally rewarding behaviour, when so conditioned, will decrease and cease over time. This suggests that because blog writing is rewarded with high marks, the external reward is highly valued and when that reward can no longer be obtained – the intrinsic motivation for learning will cease in time.


Conclusively, on my part blog writing have increased my intrinsic motivation for learning and for general areas within psychology and I will keep writing for my blog even after university because of the satisfaction it gives me.




Benabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The Review of Economic Studies, 70(3), 489-520.

Deci, E. (1975) Intrinsic Motivation (New York: Plenum Press).

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). SelfDetermination. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Deci, E. L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R. M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 627–668.

Fehr, E. & Falk, A. (1999). Wage Rigidity in a Competitive Incomplete Contract Market, Journal of Political Economy, 107(1), 106–134.

 Fehr, E. & Schmidt, K. (2000), Fairness, Incentives, and Contractual Choices, European Economic Review, 44 (4–6), 1057–1068

 Gneezy, U. & Rustichini, A. (2000a). A Fine is a Price , Journal of Legal Studies, 29 (1) 1–17.

 Schater, D. (2011). PSYCHOLOGY. United States of America: Catherine Woods. p. 325


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