Lecture 5 Intrinsic Interest As A Motivator
Course CodeKinesiology 1088A/B
ProfessorRobert La Rose
September 22, 2010
Kinesiology – Lecture 5
INTRINSIC INTEREST AS A MOTIVATOR
1. Intrinsic motivation – Desire to participate in an activity or task for its own sake – do it for the
fun of doing it.
- Innate need to feel competent and self- determining when dealing with ones environment
(deci, 1975). – want to do it because you want to.
- Characterized by an ongoing process of seeking and attempting to conquer challenges that are
optimal for ones ability – I am confident so I am determind
How to measure intrinsic motivation
a) Free choice involvement in an activity – time spent
b) Presence of performance quality – complexity, creativity, flexibility, spontaneity
c) Self-report questionnaires –were u interested, did you enjoy it, did it satisfy you.
2. Extrinsic Motivation- Behaviour engaged in for reasons other than the activity itself – external
- activity becomes a means to an end – a way to an external reward or comply with the demands
- Produces a feeling of an external control resulting in compliance or defiance and is manifested
by feelings of pressure, tension, or apprehension.
** Intrinsic and Extrinsic motives are interactive but not additive (see page 137)
(can compare or cooperate with one another)
How external rewards influence intrinsic interest have been analyzed in two ways:
1. Empiracl approach – research base
a. Lepper & Green (1975) – nursery study
3 groups of kids – expected reward, no reward, and unexpected reward
- 1 week later measured amount of free time spent drawing with pens
- Results: expected rewards spent less than half the time drawing than the no-reward or
unexpected reward groups did
Extrinsic rewards actually decreased the intrinsic interest in the activity.
b. COGNITIVE EVALUATION THEORY (deci & ryan, 1985)
-Evaluates how an individual perceives the impact of the external rewards and thus the
effect this perception had on his/her intrinsic motivation (enhance it or undermine it)
September 22, 2010
-A sub theory of the self-determination theory (ryan & Deci 2000) – 3 basic
psychological needs: effectance, relatedness & autonomy.
-Thus a reward can be perceived to have a controlling or an informational function.
i. control – locus of causality (self-determination)
if external it undermines intrinsic motivation.
if internal it enhance intrinsic motivation.
ii. Information – about ones competence
-Greater perceived competence enhances int. mot.
-Diminished perceived competence decreases int. mot.
Salience: The importance attributed to a reward will determin how it is
perceived by the recipient
Controlling aspect of a reward
Perceived locus of casuality(external) cause of behavior lies outside the person Int. mot. Decreases
Perceived locus of casuality(internal) cause of behavior lies inside the person Int. mot. Decreases
Other Empirical propositions:
c) The gender of the reward recipient influences the interpretation of the reward – this is
gradually changing in todays society
Ryan (1980) – university scholarships
- Football decreases int. mot. (feelings of control)- the scholarship actually decreased
there intrinsic motivation.
- Wrestlers & female athletes – increases intrinsic motivation as it provides information
on competence since scholarships not given to them as often
d) The age of the reward recipient influences the interpretation of the reward
- as kids grow older they tend to view rewards more as a bribe (control)
e) Extrinsic rewards are associated with work (payment, promotion, success/status)
Intrinsic rewards are associated with play (mastery, skill acquisition, challenge,
In sport & exercise, concentrate on providing intrinsic rewards – avoid feelings of work (stay in a cycle of
play and enjoyment)
f) Competition and focus on winning can act as an extrinsic informational reward –
prticualry for males.
-competitive success tends to increase int. mot. While failure tends to decrease it
- emphasize information on performance competence (mastery) when relating
competition results or else loosing = incompetence = decreased int. mot.
September 22, 2010
2. Anecdotal Reports – (csikszentmihalyi, 1990)
- Asked if there are common pleasurable experiences in a variety of physical activities? (fun, Enjoymeny)
- Asked if there are common elements which produce these experiences?
-Asked do they occur in other activities?
- Interviewed rock climbers, chess playes, dancers, etc
- Identified the term FLOW EXPERIENCE
- An autotelic feeling where the participant feels totally involved in the activity (“do the activity
for the sheer joy of the doin”)
Flow is attained when the participants perceived skills are equal to the demands or challenges of the
task and the following conditions are present:
1. Complete absorption in the activity – so involved nothing else matters
2. Merging of action and awareness – totally involved in the task (don’t have to think about it, it
3. have total control over ones actions and environment – feel like u control everything
4. Attention is centered and focused on only a few important details.
5. There is a loss of ego (self consciousness) where you don’t care about adequacy or being
6. The demands / goals of the task are clear and the feedback is accurate and specific to the task.
7. Time is transformed – everything seems faster
8. Effortless movement – don’t have to think about it or try too hard (automatic pilot)
Flow is usually attained when both capabilities and challenge are HIGH.
How to achieve flow
- Motivation to perform (challenge)
- Optimal levels of arousal (vary by individual)
- Maintain narrow focus on key elements – stay in the present
- Pre-competitive and competitive plans and preparation
- Physical preparation and readiness
- Confidence and positive mental attitude – going in saying im ready I can do this
- Trust and shared sense of purpose with teammates (cohesion)
- Feeling good about performance – in sync
1. Extrinsic rewards do not necessarily undermine or enhance intrinsic interest in an activity
2. It is the individuals interpretation of the reward (salience) that is critical