15 July 2021
Extrinsic motivators for students to study can be tangible incentives such as a new toy or getting a pet. But intangible rewards like praise, and disincentives such as punishment, are more important.
Dr Kit Phey Ling, a senior lecturer in psychology and child and human development from the National Institute of Education (NIE), said extrinsic motivators can be effective in getting children to study for a test in the short term. However, this does not encourage good study habits, school engagement or academic goal-setting in the long run.
In contrast to extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation comes from within, when one does something without expecting a reward – but simply because it is interesting or enjoyable.
Dr Kit said that children who are intrinsically motivated tend to set study goals for themselves, are more engaged during lessons and try to learn about topics that they are interested in.