"Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity itself - the enjoyment of a puzzle or the love of playing basketball, for example. One is said to be intrinsically motivated when engaging in an activity "with no apparent reward except for the activity itself"... Research has found that it is usually associated with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students. " (source)
Students are likely to be intrinsically motivated if they:
- attribute their educational results factors that they can control (e.g. the amount of effort they put in)
- believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals (i.e. the results are not determined by luck)
- are interested in mastering a topic, rather than just rote-learning to achieve good grades.
Examples of Intrinstically Motivated Individuals
Thomas Alva Edison –American inventor (1847-1931)
Edison established the first industrial research laboratory. He was one of the most prolific inventors of all time, inventing a sound recording device (phonograph), motion pictures, and the first practical incandescent light bulb. He received patents for 1090 inventions.
"I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work."
"Genius is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration."
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
Nikola Tesla – Serb-American inventor, physicist, and engineer (1856-1943)
Tesla invented polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, laying the foundation for the second industrial revolution.
"I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success."
Marie Curie – Polish physicist & chemist (1867-1934)
Marie Curie, one of the most famous of all women scientists, was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity.
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child. ... It was like a new world opened to me, ...which I was at last permitted to know in all liberty."