Intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?

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    Hello everybody, I also think that Michael Jordan is person with absolutely intrinsic motivation. It is example a man with the high need for achievement and the low fear of failure. This champion athlete have an unusual wish,a passion to compete.

    Afrooz Mousavi

    I think Michael Jordan have a motivational personality that drive him to the achievement. He loves sport (Intrinsic) and loves medal for their country (extrinsic). I agree with Peter Terry that “To promote change in the direction of intrinsic motivation involves drip-feeding messages of using self-referenced success criteria”.


    i can not open the video in Taiwan


    I think jordon’s motivation is highly intrinsic, more than extrinsic. To me it seems extrinsic motivation leads to satisfactions once achievement is made. Where as to push yourself for greater achievement, intrinsic motivation is required and best to go ahead. His personality profile will be type 3.


    Great sportsman like Michael motivation belongs to intrinsic. Only with the love and passion of the games he can excel in this sports basketball.Extrinsic forms part of his motivation too as he can be seen many times showing off his superior in term of success in competitive achievement and in monetary achievement.

    Ooi Miin


    I believe Michael Jordan was an intrinsicly motivated athlete. However, after receiving his first NBA championship he became extrinsicly motivated as well. Yes, he loved the game and he enjoyed the game to a great extant but I think that winning multiple championships was his ultimate goal. He was the ultimate competitor and being able to hold up that golden trophy at the end of the NBA season was what I think he visualized day in and day out. As Type 3 personality he could handle losing but he didn’t take it well. If he were to lose that would only motivate him to work harder to make sure he never felt that way again and that is why he won so often.


    Michael Jordan was intrinsicly motivated. He loved the game of basketball, and played for his enjoyment. This is what made him one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He was doing it for himself not anyone else. He mentions how he never faced a bigger competitor than himself. He thrived from the competition he faced. His need for achievement versus fear of failure is very high. Michael Jordan is a true champion, and almost a one of kind type of athlete.


    I believe possibility of co-existence of intrinsic & extrinsic motivation cannot be ruled out, both plays their role in making an athlete. But obviously, In case of MJ Intrinsic motivation was much dominant.
    Key values related to Michael Jordan are “Challenge, Hard Work, Achievement, Competitiveness, Excellence, Leadership, perfection, optimism”.
    Indeed, he was a person with extremely high need of achievement. I disagree a bit in case of ‘fear of failure’ with most of the participants when they say ‘MJ didn’t fear failure’.
    I’d like to remind you the famous quotes of Jordan i.e.
    “I’ve missed more than 1000 shots………………………………………………… I’ve failed over and over again, and that is why I succeed”.
    ‘Limits & Fears are illusion’.
    ‘I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying’.
    ‘Failure gave me strength, my pain was my motivation’.
    The above statements show that he was extremely conscious about failure (if not fear). But the key point is he is an Optimistic person. Instead of breaking down in difficult situation he took it as a challenge and with his qualities of ‘Hard Work’, ‘Never Say Die’ he made it to the top. So, my conclusion is he was somewhere between Type 3 & Type 4.

    Alexander Oshinsky

    I would have to label Jordan as an intrinsically motivated athlete. His drive and desire comes from the love for the game, he even said it in the video that he competes for the love of the game, he didn’t expect the success he would have. Another point that would indicate that he is intrinsically motivated would be that he got cut from his High School basketball team which drove him to compete and get better. I would also have to label Jordan as a type 3 personality. In the video he stated that he his motivation is to compete and find different forms of competition. He sees the silver lining in his “failure” and is able to learn from it to get better.


    Michael Jordan was certainly intrinsically motivated in the early stages of his career, most athletes are when they start out. I think its rare that you can make it all the way to the top and endure all of the hours of training day in and day out and the highs and lows of sport without a significant dominance of intrinsic motivation. He enjoyed the sport and the hard work/training and with that came the success. He probably highly motivated by seeing his own improvement, watching the results in the gym and in fitness, technical aspects improve week by week.
    As an athlete becomes more successful, like MJ the extrinsic motivation kicks in and the lure of money, sponsors, fame accolades etc are motivating too. He is certainly a type 3 personality with little fear of failure. Of course he has failed many times but it’s the lack of/minimal fear of failure that allows him to take the chances, the risks, embrace challenges and get back up again when he does fail. You have to learn to love adversity. – the first time I met Peter Terry (the course professor and moderator), some 20years ago, told me this!


    Michael Jordan’s source for motivation is definitely both intrinsic and extrinsic. Another good example will be David Beckham.

    Peter Terry

    Hi Anna
    It’s good to see you posting your insights on this matter and quoting me from more than 20 years ago. I certainly continue to endorse the concept of learning to love adversity. It’s a lesson learned through blood, sweat and especially tears but represents almost the essence of mental toughness. It encapsulates everything that is good about not shying away from adversity, nor just tolerating it, but genuinely learning to love adverse situations because they can bring out the best (but perhaps more often the worst) in a person and makes success that much more satisfying. By the way, tennis legend Jimmy Connors was using the expression decades before I did.
    Let’s hear more from you.


    Of course MJ’s primary source of motivation is Intrinsic motivation “his love for the game” but clearly his “competitive drive” reflects an extrinsic motive that is very well integrated in the self. His need for achievement is very high while his fear of failure is very low. His type of personality from all his sayings seems to be “Type 3”.

    Ayan Chatterjee

    On the face of the video it feels like Michael was intrinsically motivated. He does say he loves the sport, but Michael’s life after basketball is more interesting, and i’m intrigued to debate this. If he was as intrinsically motivated to play basketball, why did he switch to baseball. Maybe that’s where his true motivation lied. His ability as a basketball player is probably unquestionable but it’s how he played baseball that tells me more about his personality and motivation.


    Michael Jordan = intrinsic motivation. I loved watching him play when I was younger it was amazing. He never seemed to be phased by anything that happened in the game except to play harder and better. I’d say he is type 3 of the personalities as he has high motivation and drive for the game and reaching his goals (even though he never thought he’d get that far) and low fear of failure (which is most likely why he was able to get that far).

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