The Secret of Effective Motivation
Photo Gray Matter By AMY WRZESNIEWSKI and BARRY SCHWARTZ THERE are two kinds of motive for engaging in any activity: internal and instrumental. If a scientist conducts research because she wants to discover important facts about the world, that’s an internal motive, since discovering facts is inherently related to the activity of research. If she conducts research because she wants to achieve scholarly renown, that’s an instrumental motive, since the relation between fame and research is not so inherent. What mix of motives — internal or instrumental or both — is most conducive to success? We analyzed data drawn from 11,320 cadets in nine entering classes at the United States Military Academy at West Point, all of whom rated how much each of a set of motives influenced their decision to attend the academy. How did the cadets fare, years later? The implications of this finding are significant. The same goes for motivating teachers themselves.
Related: Motivation & engagement