Saturday, February 11, 2006

Intrinsic Motivation Is Scary

So... today I was mumbling on the responses I get whenever I speak of intrinsic motivation to be fostered and people with intrinsic motivation to be favored over extrinsic folks. I've never been able to understand why, for example, both volunteer managers and scholars alike have trouble with the whole (intuitive!) concept that intrinsic motivation is just better.

A person with intrinsic motivation finds joy and reward in his/her own work, has self-efficacy, is able to correct his/her own work unsupervised, keeps on going despite drawbacks. What's wrong in that???

It must be that people find it scary. I couldn't understand why, then all of a sudden, reading another reply to a post of mine (to my amusement, swinging from calling me a person with methodological gaps to "neo-scholastic") today, I got it.

Intrinsic people, intrinsic volunteers, intrinsic students can not be manipulated through rewards and punishments. They also self-determine their lives, and that means any mechanism of control isn't likely to "tame them" and that is precisely why these persons find the whole concept to be scary and something to be resisted (see Freud if you don't know what it is).

The problem arises when scholars defend the need to use rewards, punishments and control to "train" students into their replica, rather than embracing the universus of the whole possibilities of reasoning.

Ah, by the way, university means, in fact, "whole, entire" and hints at the openness that such environment was supposed to have.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Lynn from Michigan said...

I think the problem is that some people feel that 'intuition' is 'impuslive' and therefore BAD. Whereas, those of us who are both intuitive and impulsive, know that some of our most joyous momments were based on both intuition and impulsiveness. I feel only sympathy for those who cannot dance in the rain and sing in the street outloud. Lynn

6:14 pm  
Blogger Rosanna Tarsiero said...

Ah Lynn, that is what just happened to me the other day. I wrote of some facts in an intuitive way, I was told it was scrappy. I explained things step by step and I was told it was neo-scholastic. In short, he didn't want to hear it like it was, and was willing to charge me (or any other reasoning being) of everything and its contrary JUST not to deal with it. Now you tell me higher education teaches critical thinking!

6:27 pm  

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