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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?



Yes, Mike, I was thinking something like "socially justified and generally
acceptable" motivations, the nature of which is very much contingent on
local culture and history. Seems like all of it has extrinsic/intrinsic
aspects to it but some are just considered "more better" than others.

And yes Cathrene, I agree. I think you caught that the object of my concern
was not John-Steiner and Hersh - they were just using a concept that I
myself frequently use. Your characterization of subcultures that cultivate
"inherent" (scare quotes are required, I think) worth of certain
accomplishments is right on. But it must be more than just subcultures to
have such a powerful effect.

Very importantly, I wonder, without fetishizing people who engage in work
that is highly intrinsically rewarding, how are, for example, highly
trained athletes socialized into the catharsis (take note Andy!) of the
cognitive and affective variety that you mention?

(and returning to Mike's question we might even wonder if some of these
endeavors, e.g. the Olympic athlete, are really socially justified and
generally acceptable? Isn't there a certain vanity and self-centeredness
(socially "bad" traits!) here too?).

Happy grading Cathrene! Hope you are feeling intrinsically motivated (in
the proper, socially justified manner...).

-greg


On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 12:27 PM, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> Maybe you could call it "justified" intrinsic motivation, a form of
> motivation that is socio-culturally mediated but attributed to the
> individual's long term characterological story of an intrinsically
> motivated person?
> mike
>
>
> On Sun, Aug 3, 2014 at 10:52 AM, Cathrene Connery <cconnery@ithaca.edu>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Greg:
> > I think you are onto something here, in light  of the fact that many
> > dichotomies are false, especially when contextualized within the
> > sociocultural, historical-political complexity of human society. While
> > John-Steiner and Hersh were specifically talking about recognition and
> > motivation in this case, is also possible that the
> > scientist/artist/athelete or other thinkers-performers experience a
> > completely different and discipline-specific form of fulfillment when
> > accomplishing that which has not be achieved before and /or witnessing
> such
> > big "C" (vs. little "c" creative events). The sense of fulfillment, in
> > these instances, is derived from a specialized subculture that knows the
> > inherent worth of the accomplishment (such as Olympic or world-class
> > athletes). I suspect that these individuals experience a type of
> catharsis
> > that involves both cognitive and affective aspects as well as
> > aesthetic-functional dimensions. But, I have 60 papers to grade for
> summer
> > school, so it is time to get back to work.
> > Cathrene
> >
> > Dr. Cathrene Connery
> > Associate Professor of Education
> > Ithaca College
> > Department of Education
> > 194B Phillips Hall Annex
> > 953 Danby Road
> > Ithaca, New York 14850
> > Cconnery@ithaca.edu
> >
> > On Aug 3, 2014, at 12:25 PM, "Greg Thompson" <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > While reading David Kirshner's review of Hersh and John-Steiner's
> Loving
> > > and Hating Math book, I cam across the following characterization of
> > > Gregory Perelman's decision to refuse to accept the Fields Medal in
> light
> > > of the apparent fact that his work had been plagiarized by a Chinese
> > > scholar who had previously received the medal:
> > >
> > > "“Everybody understood that if the proof is correct then no other
> > > recognition is needed” (p. 72), which Hersh and John-Steiner interpret
> as
> > > “a beautiful example of intrinsic scientific motivation” (p. 73)."
> > >
> > > Although this makes perfect sense to me and my understanding of
> > "intrinsic
> > > motivation" from an intuitive sense, I was nonetheless struck by the
> fact
> > > that in this case, it was an EXTERNAL recognition that is taken to be
> > > "intrinsic".
> > >
> > > On the one hand, in my intuitive sense of this psychological terme
> d'arte
> > > (as well as my emic everyday sense of it - psychological termes d'art
> are
> > > part of everyday language about things like parenting and teaching!),
> it
> > > seems that the Hersh and John-Steiner quote IS pointing to intrinsic
> > > motivation.
> > >
> > > But, on the other hand, it also seems that the motivation in this case
> is
> > > EXTRINSIC - the mathematician is seeking recognition of others (or
> > perhaps
> > > even recognition by the "field of mathematics" - which some might to
> > > imagine to be a truth-conditional field that exists outside of any
> > > community of mathematicians). Isn't this type of motivation "outside"
> of
> > > the individual?
> > >
> > > Conversely, isn't it also the case that the desire for medals and
> awards
> > > (e.g. the Fields Medal) or even other rewards (even marshmallows!)
> could
> > be
> > > thought of as INTRINSIC as well? Don't these desires have to be INSIDE
> > the
> > > person in order for the person to be motivated by them?
> > >
> > > Seems like all motivation is both extrinsic and intrinsic, no?
> > >
> > > And I wonder if this may be connected to the quote that Mike mentioned
> > from
> > > Luria that a person cannot control their behaviors any more than a
> shadow
> > > can carry stones?
> > >
> > > Both seem to point to an ideology (myth) of individualism that is
> > prevalent
> > > among psychologists?
> > >
> > > For those interested, here is a description of intrinsic and extrinsic
> > > motivation:
> > > "Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal
> > > rewards. In other words, the motivation to engage in a behavior arises
> > from
> > > within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding. This
> > contrasts
> > > with extrinsic motivation, which involves engaging in a behavior in
> order
> > > to earn external rewards or avoid punishments."
> > >
> > > -greg
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> > > Assistant Professor
> > > Department of Anthropology
> > > 883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> > > Brigham Young University
> > > Provo, UT 84602
> > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> >
> >
>



-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson