Blog Post #2

Madeline Grace Erk
5 min readSep 5, 2022

As I read through the second chapter of Paharia’s (2013) book Loyalty 3.0: How Big Data and Gamification are Revolutionizing Customer and Employee Engagement, I related to the intrinsic motivation explanations, and some things began to make sense. I feel like I understood more about myself and how I work. I have also been thinking about how to place these ideas within a correct Biblical worldview.

Paharia (2013) writes about the idea of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Paharia writes that intrinsic is “initiating an activity for its own sake because it is interesting and satisfying in itself” (p. 25). Paharia writes that extrinsic is when “some external force is influencing, motivating, or requiring you to do something” (p. 25). Paharia believes that both have their place, but there is no need to use extrinsic motivators when intrinsic motivation is already present. In fact, Paharia writes about how doing so can stifle someone’s creativity and worsen how he or she performs as found by Dan Ariely. Paharia believes that tasks with set rules are a good time to use extrinsic motivators. However, it is not a good idea to use them with creative tasks (Paharia, 2013).

In the chapter, Paharia (2013) goes on to detail five different intrinsic motivators. Three of the motivators are from a motivation theory called self-determination theory by professors Deci and Ryan (Paharia, 2013). Paharia first discusses autonomy which is from self-determination theory. Paharia writes, “We want to be in control; we want to decide what we do, how we do it, whom we interact with, when, and where” (p. 28). This theory is about how people like having some leeway to make choices and do not want to have to follow something exactly all the time (Paharia, 2013). Also, Paharia shares about how Tom Sawyer in Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer convinced his friends to voluntarily paint a fence, and Paharia writes about this text and discusses how the differentiator between working and playing is if you are forced to complete a task versus if you genuinely would like to complete a task. It is just a change of perspective (Paharia, 2013). I definitely connected with this part and realized that I need to be aware of this in myself. I feel like I may even do similar things to relax that I do for school, but when it is for school, I do not always enjoy it as much. I think that this also may have to do with the strict timeline that makes me feel like I have to get something done. I enjoy doing things when I am in the mood to do them, but I want to try to enjoy doing my schoolwork as much as possible too. Either way, I want to do my schoolwork without complaining and with a higher purpose in mind.

Paharia (2013) writes also about mastery which is from the self-determination theory. Paharia writes that mastery is “the innate desire that we have to be competent and to get better at things” (p. 31). I really felt this way when I was younger and wanted to be very talented in some area. For me, this desire stemmed from wanting people to admire what I did and look at me. I would try at times to improve in some area but not usually put in enough time to get there. Paharia (2013) writes about how Dweck came up with the idea of a spectrum where people can range from having a growth mind-set and believing they can improve to having a fixed mind-set and believing they are stuck with whatever abilities they currently have. For me, at times I had somewhat of a growth mindset and would try to improve, but at other times I had a very fixed mindset. I read Paharia’s (2013) words about how people with a fixed mind-set “won’t engage in situations where they can fail, especially publicly” (p. 31). This resonated with me because I remember how I have done this. I have usually avoided most sports which is probably the reason why I have remained very bad at them. At my middle school youth group, I would sit out sometimes to avoid playing. I try to sometimes force myself into uncomfortable sports situations now, but due to my lack of experience, I can struggle hard.

The next motivator that Paharia (2013) writes about is purpose, and Paharia writes, “We all need to feel like we’re making a difference and that our efforts and our existence have meaning” (p. 32). For me, I do not feel like I struggle with this as much because of my Christian faith. I do have a higher purpose to the work that I do at all times because I am representing Christ. The fourth motivator is progress (Paharia, 2013). Paharia writes about how Amabile and Kramer found in research that reaching small milestones can be very motivating. To sum up these two motivators, Paharia writes, “They need to feel that there’s a purpose to what they’re doing and then to feel progress toward that purpose” (p. 35). This makes sense because it follows a logical line of reasoning.

The last intrinsic motivator that Paharia (2013) discusses is social interaction which is from the self-determination theory. Paharia writes, “We want to connect, we want to interact, we want to affiliate, we want to care, we want to share, we want to be recognized, and we want to understand and be understood” (p. 35). I believe that we have a relational nature because God is relational. We were made for Him and to be in community with each other.

Paharia (2013) shares all of these intrinsic motivators explaining how consumers are motivated in order to be able to create a customer loyalty plan that works. These motivators made me think about myself, and now I must think about how these extend to others in the context of loyalty programs. Also, I found an article by Dunn (2015) titled “Motivation: What makes you tick?” where she wrote about the concept of demotivators in the context of the nursing workplace. This made me think about also needing to consider what would demotivate an individual. I am also highly interested in the ethics of when using human psychology becomes manipulative, and that is something I want to further explore.

References

Dunn, D. (2015). Motivation: What makes you tick? OR Nurse, 9 (2), 38–47. doi: 10.1097/01.ORN.0000460902.65598.e0.

Paharia, R. (2013). Loyalty 3.0: How big data and gamification are revolutionizing customer and employee engagement. McGraw-Hill.

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