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What is extrinsic motivation?

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Quick Answer

Extrinsic motivation is a reward or inducement provided by an external person or entity to compel a person to act. Companies typically use pay structures, public praise and employee awards as extrinsic motivators to encourage employees to perform at optimum levels.

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Full Answer

An extrinsic motivator is often needed when a person isn't motivated intrinsically or by a personal desire to achieve a goal or complete a task. In school, grades are an extrinsic motivator. Some students are as motivated to achieve a quality grade as they are to learn. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can coexist. Someone may be extrinsically rewarded with high pay for a job but also truly enjoy the work.

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