Stephen M. Garcia is a current professor of psychology at the university of michigan. In this paper, he introduces concepts and models that distinguishes between individual and situational factors that increase social comparison which is competition.
I think the social comparison and comparison concern theory are very relevant in the current society, and its a common social phenomenon. Garcia puts current happening phenomenons into context, into theories, for example the “Zero-sum” situations, where one party’s gain is another’s loss, may naturally and rationally increase actors’ concerns about their relative position.
In this paper, Garcia discusses about why and how people compete, for example depending on individual and relational factors, people compete in a different ways. He mentions how similar between identities are more likely to prone towards competition. He also talks about how people compete in areas of their own dimension, for example recreational tennis is most relevant to recreational tennis player. Which made me realize how often people compete not only in a competitive setting, but also in a subconscious way. Out of all the authors, Garcia best utilizes the image, and backs up his argument with the figures. What I found interesting was Garcia’s explanation of incentive structures, which essentially talks about how competitiveness are decided by the expected value. This point he outlined is very common in the current society, where humans are benefit seekers. People don’t just compete for the sake of competitiveness, they value the outcome of each competition they participate in. The difference between this paper with others that I’ve came across is that this paper talks about the limitations of the paper at the end. Garcia mentions how the presented framework may be culture specific. This allows readers to be aware of this underlying factor so they could pay attention to the details of the paper in a way where they could most relate to.
At the end of the paper, Garcia draws connections with other fields of study such as psychology, economics, business, political science, law..etc. Which could be very helpful for readers as it provides information in various contexts. Each paragraph talks about how the concepts is related to each of the subjects. For example, in politics, Garcia mentions that we would predict that competitiveness among candidates decreases when the number of primary candidates is high versus low. The paper ends with a conclusion note by offering an extensive opportunity of research by suggesting a joint research with many fields such as psychology. I think Louisqxyang mentions few of very interesting points on the topic of competition in psychology of how cooperation and competition are ubiquitous among us.