IQ, Intrinsic Motivation and Job Satisfaction
An interesting study in this month’s online issue of the journal Intelligence by Ganzach and Fried looks at the relationship of intelligence with job or work satisfaction, in connection with the idea of intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards and satisfactions.
Intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards and motivations
Intrinsic rewards (such as a good book) is something that is valued for its own sake – as giving pleasurable experience in itself. Extrinsic rewards (such as a book voucher for a present) are valued because they afford some other benefit (the good book). Intrinsic motivation underlies behaviors performed purely for interest and enjoyment; extrinsic motivation underlies behaviors performed to obtain other rewards or avoid negative outcomes.
The 3-way relationship between intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards, IQ and job satisfaction
Ganzach and Fried’s research revealed the relationships shown in the model below:
- intrinsic rewards (job complexity) and intrinsic satisfaction are more strongly related to overall job/work satisfaction among individuals who are higher rather than lower in intelligence. That’s shown by the plus (+) arrows in the model diagram. In other words, if you have a higher IQ, you will probably be more satisfied at work by the pleasures of an interesting, complex job.
- extrinsic rewards and extrinsic satisfaction are more strongly related to global job satisfaction among individuals who are lower rather than higher in intelligence. That’s shown by the minus (-) arrows in the model diagram. In other words, if you have a lower IQ, you will probably be more satisfied at work by your work’s financial incentives.
This doesn’t mean that if you have a high IQ you won’t find satisfaction from the money your job generates. Of course this is satisfying. It just means the relative payoffs for you of extrinsic (pay) vs intrinsic (job complexity/interest) is tipped towards the intrinsic stuff.
What is a high or low IQ and what is an average IQ? Find out here.
Train IQ to tap intrinsic rewards
And of course, a theme constantly stressed in this blog is that your IQ level is not fixed. If you increase your IQ by training, you will increasingly tap into the rewards and satisfactions of more complex, and intrinsically interesting, projects and work flows.