Extrinsic Motivation In The Wild Child By Henry David Thoreau

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The famous poet Henry David Thoreau wrote that, “a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Thoreau implies that in order to make a real impact in the world; we must not only participate, but that we must also constantly remind ourselves of the goals that we wish to achieve. Studies done by various experimenters and researchers have concluded that our cognitive, social, and emotional development is determined by how we partake in the social world. The importance of relationships, our constant desire to advance our…show more content…
This movie features a child who lived in the jungle by himself for ten years and thus had been isolated from any human contact. Intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that arises because it is intrinsically rewarding. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is behavior that is done to avoid punishment. We saw that the child displayed both types of motivated cognition. The rocking motion he displayed when simply standing could categorized as intrinsic motivation because it gave him pleasure; his cognition motivated him to do it from within. An example of extrinsic cognition is when he was sent to school and received motivation from his teacher in order to perform well. By becoming a part of the social world, the child began to develop cognitive, social, and emotional development. We can see this happening before our eyes as he was able to identify letters, learned to control his emotions, and act as a ‘normal’ kid would. An interesting point I noticed was that although the boy had attained little cognition by living in the jungle, he was still able to develop socially, cognitively, and emotionally. This speaks volumes to the flexible nature of the human cognition to adapt and change, no matter how far gone you may be. In fact, this ability to adapt is one of the seven features of cognition. By virtue of showing signs of intelligence and responding to rewards and punishments, the child was able to mature from a cognitive perspective due to his participation in a social

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