When competition works at psychological level-Reading response to “The Psychology of Competition-Perspectives on Psychological Science”

In this reading response, firstly I’d like to expound briefly of the article written by Garcia, which is talking about the two factors affect social competition, that are individual and situational with some detailed expansion. Then I’m going to relate this article to those we’ve learned before, trying to give a more comprehensive cognition of competition.

For this article it’s mainly concerned competition in society at psychological level, as mentioned in the title. By introducing the definition of social comparison, the author brought on what is able to increase competitiveness, illustrating personal factors which not only relates to individual differences, dimension relevance but also relational factors such like similarity, relationship closeness for individual factors, and for situational factors which contains incentive structures, proximity to a standard, social category fault lines and number of competitors. Then with distinct knowledge about these two factors, further discussion about the interaction of those between each other, including effects and applications.

Though the heart of the Garcia’s article is competition which still embroiders on the same topic just from different aspects with the preceding articles, some relations can be done. At the beginning it is easy to notice that this article contains many pictures among the dense words. Those diagrams have done clear summarization of important points that the author used to build his arguments. It makes sense of what has done which could be a kind of refreshment of memory, also what will be going on next, so that clear cognition of the whole argument could be seen. To some extent, it may drive the audiences’ attention too. In Molina’s article there are also some pictures, differences between could be that pictures used in Molina’s is colorful, not trying to give clear points of argument but to attract audiences with interesting also relative source, giving incentive for them to start read or keep reading.

Garcia’s article is well-structured, with several sub-headings which particularly point out significant stuff should be paid attention to. The article was written down in a quiet logic way, by good arrangement of arguments according to their relations with words such as “firstly” and “secondly”, easy for understanding and following up. Compared with Ingraham’s one, the sub-headings in Garcia’s is more detailed, briefly outlining the information of what the paragraphs in this part is concentrated on and providing quick look, also could be helpful for the audiences to go back and check for what they want. While in Ingraham’s and Couacaud’s just divide the whole articles into different contexts, not too much definitely description of how the part is going on.

The evidences provided in Garcia’s are almost from citations of lots of scholars, that summing up and derive social phenomena to construct a regular action pattern of human. That must contain some qualifiers, exceptions would occur such as some people will not do as the theory given by scholars. Providing qualifiers could make the article to be persuasive, also be done in Couacaud’s one talking about same sex avoidance related to competition. When compares with Werron’s one, which could be said work at a comparatively scientific way, the article illustrates the definition and evolution of competition that have actual evidence, which can be definitely find in history. It may come to be difficult using some evidences seems to be illusive, but I think Garcia have done in a good way.

In my opinion, there is still some improvement could be done for the comparisons of individual and situational factors. As Dignified Rants with Vaish mentioned in the reading response, with the link Vaish, the author put lots of stuff in the article focused on something is not so important referred to the topic and main idea of the article. That could distract audiences’ attention, bringing their energy to somewhere not closely relate to the argument. More words should be discussed on the detailed information of what actually the two factors are and how they work.

In conclusion, competition exist everywhere and with many reasons, depending on variety of factors. Though it is a difficult question that combined knowledge from lots of fields, more researches should be done.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for referencing my post in your response!
    Your response is well articulated and provides some good insight, especially concerning the very structure of the article itself. I completely agree with your point that Garcia’s use of sub-headings made the piece a lot easier to read when compared to Ingraham’s.


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