Discourse communities and their opinion on competition

How stressful are economic competitions in the lab by Buckert, Schwieren, Kudieka and Fiebach conducted a experiment on the level of stress in participants in competitive economic stimulation, the results concluded with 2 situations, if the individual sees the situation as a threat, he or she is more likely to adopt a passive strategy which in result would lead to a less successful outcome. On the other hand, if the situation is seen as a challenge, the individual would more likely to adopt an active coping strategy which would lead to a successful outcome. However, the conclusion drawn is one-sided and shed negative light between the relationship of success and competition, as it can always be argued competition brings out the best of our ability. I believe the conclusion drawn is specific to the experiment conducted and cannot be over generalized.

I believe part of the argument I would like to make is summarised by elisejuncker post where she discussed the relationship between, how an individual sees threat and challenge and how failure can hurt self-esteem. The further the arguments she made I would like to revisit some topics we discussed in the first lesson, the debate between competition being the nature of nurture. We can argue competition is nature and coded in our DNA, elisejuncker mentioned the fight or flight mechanism and we tend to flee when we see other animals who are more physically capable than us. On the other hand, we can argue the modern society has caused us to be more competitive than before due to resources and opportunities being scarce. Applying this idea to the paper, the debate between is the passive strategy and coping strategy nature or nature. Ultimately the point I am trying to make is coming to a conclusion in the context of the experiment is impossible as we as human beings cannot come to a consensus on nature on competition and experiments conducted on this topic can always be argued empirically or normatively. For example in some instances adapting a passive is just not possible, an example would be a dad protecting his family from danger.

An interesting point I noticed when I was reading this article is the language used is highly specific to the economics discourse community with applications of psychology community. The structure followed a lab manual like progression, what I would interesting is the emphasis placed on ensuring the trails held high validity, from using a questionnaire, ensuring the psychological status of subjects and using validity. These steps all documented in the procedure. Comparing this format to the business discourse community who many believe share many common traits, the economics community executes more numbers and graphs. Moreover, the psychological aspects of the paper are also heavily statics based, compared to the psychological reading which based its argument on models and theories. Therefore I believe this paper is catered towards readers in the economics community as to the average readers it would be hard to interrupt the values presented. Another observation I made is the emphasis placed on gender roles in the business and economics community, though this may only be specific to the paper I’ve read which is 3. All applied data from the experiment to gender differences, similar to both the readings and the group presentation it concludes that male is more likely to choose payment or choice with a higher degree of competition.

Moreover, I believe each discourse community sees competition different, and members of those communities would often adopt a point of view based on the community. Taking the example above of gender differences, this may suggest that the economics community views competition in that way however from the feminist discourse community they may argue differently. Ultimately this may be why I am never able to agree to disagree with most papers I’ve read through this course, as I do not belong to a particular discourse community, thus when reading I tend to have no expectations when reading the article so I tend to disagree as I am not familiar with the language and culture of that community. This idea can be related to the paper. since I am not familiar with the community I tend to resent the information and consider it a threat and take a passive role, instead of agreeing or disagree with the claims presented.


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