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Understand the different types of motivation and make use of the best motivation type for your situation




There are various types of motivation that influences human beings. These different motivation types have different short and long term effects on people.

Not only that, all of us respond differently to the different motivation types.

This is why it is very useful to know about the various types of motivation and learn to make full use of them. This way we can use the most suitable motivation type to fit the particular situation or individual that we are dealing with.

So let's get straight into the different types of motivation.



There are 2 main broad categories of motivation; intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

types of motivation 1. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within. It comes from the personal enjoyment and educational achievement that we derive from doing that particular activity. For example for people who love music, they have an instrinsic motivation to practice the instrument, attend classes and get involved in other musically related activities.


2. Extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from things or factors that are outside the individual. For example being motivated to work hard at the office because you are looking for a promotion is a type of extrinsic motivation. Social recognition, money, fame, competition or material achievements are all examples of extrinsic motivation.



Extrinsic motivation can be further categorized into moving towards motivation and moving away motivation.

Extrinsic moving toward motivation is, as the name suggests, motivation from desiring to move toward, obtain or achieve something. When you give out rewards or incentives for doing something, it is using moving toward motivation. Motivation to pursue money or to achieve something is a form moving toward motivation.

The main focus of the moving toward motivation type is to gain pleasure.


Extrinsic moving away motivation is the opposite of moving toward motivation. The reason it is able to motivate is not because of the possibility of getting something, but rather due to the prospect of avoiding something.

For example, for some kids their motivation for brushing their teeth properly is primarily from the desire to avoid going to the dentist rather than to have healthy well maintained teeth. So their motivation stems from wanting to move away from something rather than to move toward it.

The main focus of the moving away motivation type is to avoid pain and fear.

types of motivation


Types of motivation - taking it all in

All these types of motivation have their own qualities and each can be useful in different situations.

When motivating someone, it is best to use intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, it’s influence lasts longer and the individual that is intrinsically motivated will feel more satisfied when he or she finally achieves the desired results. There will no feelings of regret or remorse.

On the flip side, the weakness of intrinsic motivation is that it is more difficult to obtain. It is not always easy to have intrinsic motivation for the thing that you wish to have motivation for. Often times, having intrinsic motivation depends heavily on an individual’s personal interests and preference.



Extrinsic motivation on the other hand, is easier to engineer. We can use a combination of rewards, pleasure, pain and fear to create motivation for ourselves and others. In addition to that, we can further enhance the effect of extrinsic motivation by effectively using either moving toward or moving away motivation.

Some people are geared to moving towards motivation, while others are more affected by moving away motivation. Moreover, in certain situations a moving toward motivation approach is more effective while in other situations using a moving away approach is better. This varies depending on the suitability of the approach to the particular circumstance.

For maximum effect and motivation, the best way is to experiment with the various types of motivation in the different situations that you face. Find out for yourself which motivation type brings a greater impact for you!







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