Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivational Orientations and the Volunteer Process

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Motivation, Intrinsic, Extrinsic, Volunteerism, Role identity, Motive, Prosocial

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The present study incorporated the constructs of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation into an investigation of dispositional factors that contribute to volunteering. Recent research has conceptualized motivational tendencies as akin to personality variables, stable across time and situations. Volunteer motives, volunteer role identity, and prosocial personality were assessed, along with motivational orientation and time devoted to volunteering. Intrinsic motivation was positively associated with a volunteer self-concept, prosocial personality, volunteer time, and motive strength. This was particularly true for “internal” motives, those that are satisfied by the volunteer activity itself. Extrinsic orientation was most closely associated with “external” motives (specifically career aspirations), which require an outcome separate from the volunteer work in order to be fulfilled. The study was the first to consider constructs from the prevailing conceptual view of the volunteer process in the context of motivational orientation. The wider theoretical perspective offers insight into human behavior beyond volunteerism.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Personality and Individual Differences, v. 46, issue 5-6, p. 653-658.