What Is Incentive Motivation And Does It Work?

ultimate goal, being motivated by fear, interna, Man’s Search for Meaning

We’ve all needed a bit of inspiration at some time in our lives. In the past year or two, that need most likely has grown. Who hasn’t been trying to shed those extra pounds we put on during the pandemic? Who hasn’t felt the need to fake a little enthusiasm at joining yet another Zoom call? Who hasn’t been trying to get excited about trekking back into the office for a 9 to 5 (longer if you add in the commute)? Feeling “meh” is a sign of our times. So, too, is incentive motivation, a way to get back our spark, our drive, and our pursuit of the things we say we want most.

In this article, I’ll talk about what incentive motivation is and how it works.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Incentive Motivation?
    • The Roots of Incentive Motivation
    • Examples of Incentive Motivation
  2. How Does Incentive Motivation Differ from Other Types of Motivators?
    • Fear Motivation
    • Social Motivation
  3. Before You Get Up and Go…
  4. More Articles About Motivation

What Is Incentive Motivation?

Incentive motivation is an area of study in psychology focused on human motivation. What is it that gets us to go from couch potato to running a marathon? What spurs us to get the Covid vaccine—or to forgo it? What is it that influences us to think or act in a certain way? Incentive motivation is concerned with the way goals influence behavior.[1] By all accounts, it works if the incentive being used holds significance for the person.

The Roots of Incentive Motivation

Incentive motivation’s roots can be traced back to when we were children. I’m sure many of us have similar memories of being told to “eat all our veggies” so that we would “grow up to be big and strong,” and if we did eat those veggies, we would be rewarded with a weekend trip to a carnival or amusement park or playground of choice. The incentive of that outing was something we wanted enough to have it influence our behavior. Advertising

Growing up, incentive motivation continues to play a major role in what we choose to do. For example, while we may not have relished the idea of spending years studying, getting good grades, pursuing advanced degrees, and graduating with sizeable debt from student loans, a great many of us decided to do just that. Why? Because the end goal of a career, a coveted title, and the associated incentives of financial reward and joy in doing something we love were powerful motivators.

One researcher who believes in the power of incentive motivation is weight management expert, co-author of the book State of Slim, and co-founder of the transformational weight loss program of the same name, Dr. Holly Wyatt. Her work with her clients has proven time and again that when motivation fizzles, incentives can reignite those motivational fires.

“Eat more veggies, exercise, keep track of my weight: These things and more DO work, but bottom line, you gotta keep doing them. Setting up rituals and routines to put your efforts on auto-pilot is one way. And along the way, the use of both external and internal motivators helps keep people on track. External motivation sources are those things outside of ourselves that help to motivate us. They’re powerful, like pouring gasoline on a fire. But they may not last very long. Internal motivators are more tied into the reasons WHY we want to reach our goals. In my State of Slim weight loss program, we spend a lot of time on what I call ‘peeling back the onion’ to find the WHY. I think the internal motivators are more powerful, especially for the long-term, but they may take longer to build. They’re the hot coals that keep our motivational fires burning.”

Examples of Incentive Motivation

In the way of incentive motivation, specific to the external motivators, Dr. Wyatt challenges her clients to commit to changing just one behavior that will help them reach their weight loss goals. Clients must then agree to a “carrot” or a “stick” as either their reward for accomplishing what they say they will do or as their punishment for falling short. Those incentives might be something like enjoying a spa day if they do the thing they said they would do or sweating it out while running up and down the stairwell of their apartment building a certain number of times as punishment for not following through. Advertising

Whatever they choose, the goal must be something they really want, and the incentive must be something that matters to them enough to influence their behaviors in reaching those goals. Some people are more motivated by some sort of meaningful reward (a carrot) whereas, other people are more motivated by some sort of negative consequence or the taking away of a privilege (the stick).

Another example of incentive motivation is playing out currently with companies and government entities offering perks to people who get the Covid vaccine. Nationwide, offers are being made in the way of lottery tickets, cash prizes, concert seats, free admission to events and discounts for food, and even free drink at local restaurants and bars. The list of incentives being offered to the public to increase vaccination rates is pretty extensive and quite creative.[2] These incentives are financial, social, and even hit on moral sensibilities. But is this particular incentive motivation working?

Remember that a key to incentive motivation working is if the individual puts importance on the reward being received on the ultimate goal. So, not all incentives will motivate people in the same way. According to Stephen L. Franzoi, “The value of an incentive can change over time and in different situations.”[3]

How Does Incentive Motivation Differ from Other Types of Motivators?

Incentive motivation is just one type of motivating force that relies on external factors. While rewards are powerful tools in influencing behaviors, a few other options may be more aligned with who you are and what gets you moving toward your goals.

Advertising

Fear Motivation

In many ways, being motivated by fear is the very opposite of being motivated by incentives. Rather than pursuing some reward, it’s the avoidance of some consequence or painful punishment that sparks someone into action. For example, married couples may “forsake all others” not out of love or commitment but out of a fear that they may be “taken to the cleaners” by their spouses if their infidelities are revealed.

Another example wherein fear becomes the great motivator is one we’re hearing about more and more as we’re coming out of this pandemic—the fear of being poor. The fear of being poor has kept many people in jobs they hate. It’s only now that we see a reversal as headlines are shining a light on just how many workers are quitting and refusing to go back to the way things were.

Social Motivation

Human beings are social creatures. The desire to belong is a powerful motivator. This type of social motivation sparks one’s behavior in ways that, hopefully, result in an individual being accepted by a certain group or other individuals.

The rise of the Internet and the explosion of social media engagement has been both positive and negative in its power to motivate us to be included among what during our school days would be called “the cool kids” or “cliques” (jocks, nerds, artsy, gamers, etc.). We probably all have experienced at one time or another the feelings associated with “not being chosen”—whether to be on a team to play some game or as the winning candidate for some job or competition. Social rejection can make or break us.

Advertising

Before You Get Up and Go…

Know that, especially during these challenging times, it’s “normal” and very much “okay” to feel a lack of motivation. Know, too, that external motivators, such as those we’ve talked about in this article, can be great tools to get your spark back. We’ve only touched on a few here. There are many more—both external and internal.

Remember that these external motivators, such as incentive motivations, are only as powerful as the importance placed on the reward by the individual. It’s also important to note that if there isn’t an aligned internal motivation, the results will more than likely be short-lived.

For example, losing a certain amount of weight because you want to fit into some outfit you intend to wear at some public event may get you to where you want to be. But will it hold up after your party? Or will those pounds find their way back to you? If you want to be rewarded at work with that trip to the islands because you’ve topped the charts in sales and hustle to make your numbers, will you be motivated again and again for that same incentive? Or will you need more and more to stay motivated?

Viktor Frankl, the 20th-century psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of the best-selling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is quoted as having said, “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.” As important as external motivators like incentives may be in influencing behaviors, the key is always to align them with one’s internal “why”—only then will the results be long-lived.

Advertising

So, how might incentive motivation influence you and your behavior toward goals? Knowing your answer might keep you energized no matter what your journey and help to further your successes.

More Articles About Motivation

Featured photo credit: Atharva Tulsi via unsplash.com

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) Misses Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Kaiser Aluminum (KALU) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.57 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.10 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.33 per share a ... Read more »

UFP Industries (UFPI) Beats Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

UFP Industries (UFPI) came out with quarterly earnings of $1.93 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.55 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.25 per share a ... Read more »

Sea Limited Sponsored ADR (SE) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

Sea Limited Sponsored ADR (SE) closed at $360.60 in the latest trading session, marking a -1.74% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of ... Read more »

How to Get the Top Best Buy Black Friday 2021 Deals

NerdWallet is here to help you win Black Friday, while leaving your budget intact. We spend the time, you save the money. Visit regularly for holiday shopping tips and announcements ... Read more »

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) Beats Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.63 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.55 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.40 ... Read more »

First Internet Bancorp (INBK) Tops Q3 Earnings Estimates

First Internet Bancorp (INBK) came out with quarterly earnings of $1.27 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.14 per share. This compares to earnings of $1.03 per share ... Read more »

OneMain Holdings (OMF) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates

OneMain Holdings (OMF) came out with quarterly earnings of $2.37 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.29 per share. This compares to earnings of $2.19 per share a ... Read more »

Rexford Industrial (REXR) Tops Q3 FFO and Revenue Estimates

Rexford Industrial (REXR) came out with quarterly funds from operations (FFO) of $0.43 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.39 per share. This compares to FFO of $0.33 ... Read more »

Starbucks (SBUX) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

Starbucks (SBUX) closed the most recent trading day at $113.86, moving +0.33% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.37%. – Zacks Prior ... Read more »

Markets Mostly Higher: TSLA, IBM, CSX After the Bell

Another good day in the market indexes this Hump Day, with only the Nasdaq barely finishing in the red, -0.05%. Nevertheless, it snaps a fourth-straight trading day higher. The Dow ... Read more »

Graco Inc. (GGG) Q3 Earnings and Revenues Miss Estimates

Graco Inc. (GGG) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.57 per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.64 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.59 per share a ... Read more »

Paycom Software (PAYC) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Paycom Software (PAYC) closed at $512.63, marking a -1.17% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s 0.37% gain on the day. ... Read more »

I'm a Certified Coach and These Are the 3 Questions I Ask in Every Session

We’re making some changes over at the SUCCESS Line. Introducing your new host—me! I am the managing director of SUCCESS Coaching, and I am so excited to be picking up ... Read more »

How Suzy Batiz Found Perspective at Rock Bottom (and How You Can Too)

Trigger warning: This post references childhood abuse, rape, domestic violence, suicide and depression. What would you do if you had nothing left to lose? Suzy Batiz is the founder, CEO ... Read more »

Afraid of Making Poor Money Moves? Use Psychology to Predict Your Financial Behavior

It’s always fun to use “reverse” psychology on your kids: “Don’t you dare clean your room!” Sure enough, they run up the stairs, laughing hysterically, to make their beds and ... Read more »

Are Stocks Ready to Break to New Highs?

The stock market (SPY) is on a 5 day winning streak and now less than 1% away from the all time highs. This quickly shakes off weeks of painful pullbacks ... Read more »

Johnson & Johnson Rockets Higher Despite Mixed Results

Blue-Chip Dividend Grower Johnson & Johnson Is A Value If you’re looking for a safe place to park some money with an expectation for capital gains, above-average dividend yields, and ... Read more »

Diamondback Energy Rallies Post-Breakout, Ahead Of Nov. 1 Earnings Report

Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ: FANG)  may be setting up for a fresh round of gains after resetting its base count in August. It cleared a first-stage, cup-shaped base on October 5, ... Read more »

Bobbing for Apple Stock: Why Investors Keep Buying the Dip

Even a mega-cap juggernaut like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) isn’t immune to the occasional market-driven or company-specific downturn. It’s just that it doesn’t happen very often. And when it has, it ... Read more »

What's in Store for Boston Properties (BXP) This Earnings Season?

Boston Properties, Inc. BXP is slated to report third-quarter 2021 results on Oct 26, after market close. The company’s quarterly results will likely highlight year-over-year growth in both funds from ... Read more »

Airline Stocks to Watch for Earnings on Oct 21: ALK, AAL, LUV

The rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus across the United States dealt a huge blow to the U.S.-based airline stocks. This is because after being ... Read more »

Kimberly-Clark (KMB) Queued for Q3 Earnings: Things to Note

Kimberly-Clark Corporation KMB is likely to display year-over-year growth in the top line, when it reports third-quarter 2021 numbers on Oct 25. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged ... Read more »

3 Analyst Favorite Stocks to Buy Now

Having conviction in a stock is a lot easier when you know that some of the best and brightest equity analysts on the street have recommended it. While you should ... Read more »

TechnipFMC (FTI), Talos Energy Unite to Provide CCS Solutions

TechnipFMC plc FTI along with Talos Energy Inc. TALO, a Houston-based independent exploration and production firm, recently established a long-term strategic collaboration to develop and provide technical and economic solutions ... Read more »

Edtech Startup Creative Galileo Raises $2.5 Mn In A Round Led By Kalaari Capital

Singapore-headquartered edtech startup Creative Galileo recently announced that it has raised $2.5 million in a round led by Kalaari Capital. Other investors include prominent angel investors, such as Harish Bahl ... Read more »

Marketing Platform Wondrlab Raises $7 Mn Led By Pi Ventures, Tanas Capital And Others

Platform-first martech startup, Wondrlab, on Wednesday announced that it raised $7 million in funding in the round led by Pi Ventures LLP, Tanas Capital, Prodapt Holdings, and several independent investors ... Read more »

NextEra Energy is a Solid Play on Rising Energy Prices

One of the more intriguing early earnings reports will come from NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE). NEE stock is up 10% in 2021 which is consistent with other large utility companies such ... Read more »

Apollo Global Management, Inc. (APO) Moves 7.1% Higher: Will This Strength Last?

Apollo Global Management, Inc. (APO) shares rallied 7.1% in the last trading session to close at $73.18. This move can be attributable to notable volume with a higher number of ... Read more »

Developing the Footwear Industry Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Unsplash Read more »

Zomato Terminates Employee Who Told a Customer 'Hindi Is Our National Language'

The ‘never-have-a-bad-meal’ food delivery company Zomato gave a bad experience to a customer. The company invited trouble after its employee slammed a customer, in a grievance redressal conversation, for not ... Read more »

Bitcoin returned to its record price of $ 64,000 and continues to rise after debut on the stock market as an ETF

This Tuesday, Bitcoin made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as an ETF , after the United States Securities and Exchange Commission accepted the first exchange-traded BTC ... Read more »

Ternium S.A. (TX) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Ternium S.A. (TX) closed at $44.27, marking a +0.07% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.74%. – ... Read more »

New York City Officials Unanimously Vote to Remove Thomas Jefferson Statue From Council Chambers

In light of events such as the murder of George Floyd, people have been reckoning with the paradoxes of historical figures. Thomas Jefferson occupies one such gray area, as a figure who was ... Read more »

Reliant Bancorp (RBNC) Beats Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Reliant Bancorp (RBNC) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.87 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.69 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.70 per share a ... Read more »

Zynga (ZNGA) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Zynga (ZNGA) closed the most recent trading day at $7.61, moving +1.87% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.74%. – Zacks Coming ... Read more »

Shocking Video Shows Man Reaching Behind Counter at McDonald's, Stealing Over $1,000

A shocking new surveillance video is making its rounds in which a man can be seen reaching through the Covid-safe partition at a local McDonald’s to steal cash from the open register. NurPhoto ... Read more »

Where to Buy Floki Inu Crypto: 2 Ways You Can Get Your Hands on FLOKI Now

InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Investorplace.com – InvestorPlace What is Floki Inu (CCC:FLOKI-USD) and why are you suddenly hearing all about it? Let’s dive in ... Read more »

Will ETFs Gain From Upbeat US Homebuilder Confidence in October?

The U.S. housing sector has once again witnessed a bright spot with strength in housing demand which has improved for the second consecutive month. However, headwinds like increasing construction costs ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic