Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

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    Neil Martin

    Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

    Michael Jordan slam dunking
    Michael Jordan is widely thought of one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Like all great athletes, he worked extremely hard to reach the peak of his chosen sport. He has accrued great wealth and worldwide fame, yet watch the video linked below and decide if his motivation came from within or beyond.

    Share your thoughts with others and try in particular to think about:

    • Jordan’s source of motivation – extrinsic, intrinsic, or both?
    • What are his personal values?
    • What is Michael Jordan’s likely motivation for competition personality type?

    I think Jordan’s source of motivation was largely intrinsic, in the video he stated, “I Played the sport because I loved it.” He wasn’t in the game for success. that happened as a result of his effort on a daily basis.

    He also states that his competitive drive is far greater than anyone else he’s met, which he thrives on. Another reason why he is intrinsically motivated is that he is motivated by competing and searching out challenges to overcome.

    I believe that Michael Jordan is a Type 3 in terms of his motivation for competition personality type. He loves competition and also realises that winning isn’t always possible but he doesn’t view defeat as a negative.


    To me, I see Michael Jordan as extremely intrinsic motivated. He just loves the game, and it’s obviously how much effort and enjoyment he puts into the games when he plays.

    He states that “you can’t avoid bad things to succeed” which is one of the reason I perceive Jordan as a Type 3 person. It kind of reflects his personality.

    Adam Szuster

    I think like most, if not all, ‘great’ athletes Jordan’s motivation is intrinsic. I am sure there are other motivating factors which aren’t covered in the video and some of those may be extrinsic – pressure to please parents; spite to show someone that he could make it – but his drive appears to be enjoyment and the challenge of bettering himself.

    Jordan’s personal values are what encases his motivation – love of the sport; the thrill of competition; the drive to win at all costs; the willingness to work hard; the persistence to keep going through the hard times. And just as importantly the ability to enjoy the successes when they happen.

    Personalty type is clearly type 3 – strong need for achievement with little regard to fear of failure. I suspect that fear is there but it is suppressed and controlled by the strong will for achievement.


    I am positive that Michael Jordan’s source of success was intrinsic motivation because the definition states that this type of motivation “comes from within” and “relates to doing something for pure enjoyment”. in the video, he said that “I played the sport because I love it”. He seeks out challenges, was never afraid of failing, trained full-heartedly to overcome and surpass battles. According to another video, Michael Jordan said that he is successful because of the many many failures he had before. this type of personality is the “ideal characteristic of a champion”…Type 3.

    Rafael Dubois

    Jordan is definitely a guy with intrinsic motivation, he was a one of kind player, he did what he did because his desire of be better and he took the game of basketball to another new level. His personal values, I think have to be successful, hard work, leadership, and never give up!


    I have two important questions
    Are there any psychological technic to help an athlete with the aim of turn from extrinsic motivational style to intrinsic motivation?
    What can I do if I want to help an athlete to develop her intrinsic motivation?
    I want to know the opinion of the professors


    michael jordan first was motivated by his defeats , beginning with the school basketball , he could not get into college team the first year, and practice and practice until you enter the first year lost against Dominic Wilkins in the contest dunks and it is strongly was returning to base to continue , from a transactional analysis acting from his rebellious child I carry very far. michael jordan 3 was the kind person , and had extrinceca motivation


    I think Michael Jordan’s source for motivation is both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsically, he identifies his love for competition, his hard work to be competitive, and his belief in accepting good and bad outcomes. Extrinsically, he seeks to compete and has a “competitive drive”. These factors are the essence of his success. When he was cut from his high school basketball team, I think that was a defining event that triggered the synergy of his intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on his journey of becoming an elite athlete.



    I have leopoldoferrer s questions too and I appreciate that if anyone answer to these question and describe some practical techniques for enhancing intrinsic motivation.

    George Morrison

    I think Michael Jordan demonstrates intrinsic motivation but also has been motivated by success. Like many great sports people, I believe Michael Jordan would have been motivated just by his love of the sport. Basketball is part of his life and his being and this would have been the case even if he hadn’t been so successful. nevertheless I think success breeds success and his competitive drive to be the best also demonstrates extrinsic motivation.

    Aline Olivio

    I think Jordan’s motivation was intrinsic according to the statements in the video. Jordan understands the difficulties as challenges and overcome is motivational for him. He seems to feel able to overcome the challenges, however difficult they may seem.


    From what I understand, Micheal Jordan’s motivation is the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. He is largely influenced by intrinsic motivation because of the enjoyment and love that he has for the game, and he values the effort that he has put into it. But he is also extrinsically motivated when he seeks satisfaction from the competitiveness attitude, which shows that he likes to be superior than others.
    As much as he enjoys winning, he can also accept losing when it’s due.
    Regarding the NA-FF personality, I perceive him as Type 3, due to the reasons mentioned above.

    Peter Terry

    There have been some great comments about Michael Jordan and his motivation style. Some of you have raised the question of how to develop intrinsic motivation in a person. It’s a very good question. Some would say that motivational style is a part of personality and therefore somewhat resistant to change. I subscribe to an interactionist perspective, which acknowledges that different individuals have a natural predisposition towards intrinsic v extrinsic motivation but also accepts that everyone is subject to change depending upon environmental factors. To promote change in the direction of intrinsic motivation involves drip-feeding messages of using self-referenced success criteria. Are my skills improving? Am I becoming tactically more astute? Am I developing my understanding of the processes involved in optimum performance? Am I enjoying the competition? Am I having fun? Am I learning to love the inevitable adversity that I will face? Do I love the challenge inherent in my sport? And of course providing positive reinforcement when behaviour reflects intrinsic motivation. Others may wish to offer additional strategies to assist in the development of intrinsic motivation.


    His motivation is intrinsic as he loves the game of basketball. I would be interested in finding out how he developed that motivation as getting cut from his high school basketball team is a tough life experience. I would say his personality profile is a type 3 as he does not let failure adversely affect him.

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