Are 'having fun in doing something' and 'being motivated to do something' the same thing?

If not, how are fun and motivation related? Is there any formal definition on this? Would it be possible to be motivated to do something without having fun in it?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ If I offered to pay you a million dollars for writing down every number from 1 to 10 000 on a piece of paper, I'm sure you'd be super motivated to do it, but I don't think that you'd find the activity fun. $\endgroup$
    – Speldosa
    Dec 31, 2014 at 1:28
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "Motivation" is a theoretical concept in the science psychology, while "fun" is not. Psychologists have no theory of "fun", so the difference between "fun" and "motivation" is undefined in psychology, too. Your question is like asking a physicist about the difference between gravity and falling on your face. $\endgroup$
    – user3116
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ This video is also useful on this topic: FUN vs MOTIVATION ?!? - Psychology and Gamification youtube.com/watch?v=Xp4OkUhu95Y $\endgroup$
    – olee22
    Jul 22, 2021 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Speldosa you are not really correct! If someone would offer me 1milion dollars for that, I would not do it. At most I would pay someone else to do it instead of me. $\endgroup$
    – Dragos
    Jul 23, 2021 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


As a temporary answer, and based on the comments, I will say that:

Motivation is related to the long term cost and revenue (in the broadest sense) for an activity, i.e. more extrinsic. If the long term revenue is higher than the cost, you might be motivated to undertake the activity.

Fun is related to the short term cost/revenue for an activity, i.e. intrinsic. If the short term revenue is high enough than a certain treshold you will say the activity is fun.

Improvements welcome :-)


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.