My Enemy or My Friend

In these days competition is in everywhere and we can see this when we study at school, play a sport or even we try to buy or sell goods. It is ubiquitous that it is hard to stop. But why we are so competitive? In Stephen M. Garcia’s article ”The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective” he is explaining about the reasons and the factors of competition.

According to this article, we compete because we are frequently comparing our selves with one other. We also force ourselves to do better than others and this generates a competitive behaviour to secure our superiority in the community. According to Garcia, there are three individual factors of competitiveness. One thing I thought particularly interesting is that in the article it mentioned a connection between competition and close relations (siblings, friends, etc.). According to Garcia if a person has a connection with other people a competition will grow and cooperation between these people will decrease but interestingly it doesn’t happen with the strangers.

In my opinion, Gracia’s and Amy Copper’s article (Contested Meaning of Prescription Stimulant Use in College) have similarity on limitations. Both articles focused on one particular area. In Copper’s article, her interviewees are mostly from Northeast US and Caucasian. Similarly, Gracia’s most participants from Western. In these, both articles they can only generalize the paper. In Copper’s paper, she mostly relied on information from interviews with students, but in Gracia’s, he mostly collected from other researchers to gather information.

In Garcia’s paper, he mentioned the factors and the reasons for competition from a psychological perspective. This article help to understand the people’s competitiveness behaviour in daily life and social environment.


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