Intrinsic motivation is a concept that has been studied extensively in the fields of psychology and education. It refers to a person’s intrinsic desire to perform an activity or task. This type of motivation is often associated with an interest in the task itself, rather than any external reward that may be associated with it (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

The concept of intrinsic motivation was first introduced by Deci and Ryan (1985), who proposed the self-determination theory (SDT). According to this theory, humans are motivated to act in order to satisfy their own needs and desires, rather than to receive external rewards or punishments. The theory also suggests that intrinsic motivation arises from the need for competence (the feeling of being able to do something well), autonomy (the feeling of being able to make choices and decisions for oneself), and relatedness (the feeling of being connected to other people).

Research has shown that intrinsic motivation has numerous benefits. For example, students who are intrinsically motivated to learn are more likely to persist in their studies, even when faced with difficult tasks (Gottfried, 1985). They are also more likely to engage in deep, meaningful learning, which leads to better understanding and long-term retention of material (Gottfried, 1985). Additionally, intrinsically motivated students often have higher self-esteem and are better able to manage stress and anxiety (Gottfried, 1985).

Furthermore, research has indicated that intrinsic motivation is malleable and can be increased through various techniques. For example, providing students with meaningful and challenging tasks is one way to foster intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Additionally, providing students with positive feedback that recognizes their effort and progress can also help to increase intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

In conclusion, intrinsic motivation is an important concept that has been studied extensively in the fields of psychology and education. Research has shown that it has numerous benefits, including increased persistence, improved learning, and higher self-esteem. Additionally, it can be increased through various techniques, such as providing meaningful and challenging tasks and positive feedback.


Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

Gottfried, A. E. (1985). Academic intrinsic motivation in elementary and junior high school students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(6), 631-645.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78.

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