Confused about extrinsic motivation

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    • #16111
      Maria M

      Hi Gillian,

      I’m catching up on the course slightly late, and have just finished looking at the video on intrinsic/extrinsic motivation. I’m now feeling a bit confused.

      I understand that weight loss is an extrinsic motivation. However, aren’t health benefits such as better sleep also extrinsic motivations? Rewards that we will get if we eat less?

      Would it be best of all just to focus on the experience/the skill of controlling our eating and the immediate satisfactions to be got from that?

    • #16112

      Hi Maria

      Great question and good to ask. You are spot-on with a focus on your own immediate feedback-benefits that arise from eating less.

      I found the material I presented in that video especially relevant for those who lose weight, then get caught up in some form of strong social approval of that. I see for many this leads them straight back into overeating, and I’ve not found anything else that explains this process so well.

      So maybe it will be something for you to revisit later on. Because, as you may know, it’s one thing to lose weight and quite another to keep it off. It’s not the only thing to watch out for, but the “reward” of social acceptance and approval is no small thing. I’d say that improved sleep is more intrinsic, as not about being judged by others.

      • #16118
        Maria M

        Thanks Gillian – I was worried I might just be nitpicking, but I am more confident if I can be very clear in my own mind about what I’m doing and why (although I can’t always achieve that clarity!).

    • #16115
      Joey B


      Maybe to think of extrinsic rewards are outocomes that involve things that external people can be applauding you for (wt loss, nice fitting clothes)

      Intrinsic involve things that external people cant applaud you for. It is your who will applaud yourself for these outcomes (better internal mood, better afternoon energy, better night sleep, no GI upset)

      • #16119
        Maria M

        That’s a helpful distinction Joey B: thank you.

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