Episode 201: Dr Sarah Memmi Pt 2: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation


This is Part 2 of our conversation with Dr Sarah Memmi on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Sarah brings a great perspective to this question. She’s an assistant professor of Marketing at the College of Business at the University of Louisville. She’s also a lifelong horse person which makes her a perfect fit for also teaching in the University of Lousiville’s equine business program.


Last week Sarah made the following distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation occurs when the reinforcer is bundled with the action such that it’s not easily separable from the action. The reward is in the doing.


Extrinsic motivation occurs when the reinforcement is separable from the action itself.


An activity can acquire intrinsic reinforcement value through the pairing of the activity with reinforcement. There are four qualities that are important to this process. We covered two of them in Part 1: The first was there’s a unique link between the behavior and the extrinsic reinforcer. The second is repeated pairing between the behavior and a desired outcome. This is something that is very familiar to all of us who clicker train.


Part 1 ended just as Sarah was getting to the third factor so that’s where we pick up as we resume the conversation.


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