A Glossary of Descriptive Psychology Concepts

What's this all about?


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  1. A behavior done for its own sake.
  2. The opposite of instrumental.

Intrinsic behavior is necessary. If behavior were only instrumental and nothing else, then any behavior that seemed like a reason to do X would be serving other behaviors which were the real reason to do X. Except those other behaviors (Y and Z) would also only be serving other behaviors...and so on, an infinite regress; therefore, we need intrinsic behaviors to stop the infinite regress inherent in an instrumental-only paradigm.

In addition, this principle of intrinsic behavior "stopping" instrumental behaviors "puts a cap" on the Ladder of Significance. That is, our observations must eventually reach an intrinsic behavior intrinsic enough to need no further explanation.