READING RESPONSE TO THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COMPETITION: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE

It is an inevitable fact that competition plays a big role in our every day lives. In different aspects of our lives, people tend to be so competitive in many ways. According to an analysis, there are two main factors that increase social comparison namely situational factors and individual factors. In this review, Garcia and Tyrone looks at the psychological perspective of competition. It obviously has some similar ideas to Molina et al article previously done in class.

The authors start off with the social comparison theory that talks of the basic drive. the metaphor “undirected drive upward” is used to describe the drive that makes people want to do better and reduce discrepancies. People always want to maintain an outstanding position. There are two basic factors as to why people want to maintain such positions namely situational factors and individual factors. The common feature of relevance is highly of individual nature. Situational factors concern actors perception of the surrounding social environment.  It exerts more universal effort. A very good example of this is rankings. 

According to Stephen et al, individual factors include personal factors and relational factors. personal factors are split into two namely individual difference and dimensional relevance. individual difference is mainly when a person has an orientation to achieve goals while dimensional relevance is mainly about how a person believe something is relevant to them. on the other hand, relational factors are are how people relate to others. Interestingly, Garcia et al use an example of a minority group that tends to be so competitive. Being part of a minority, I personally relate to Garcia as I feel the drive to be so competitive with another person in the same minority group. Furthermore, relationship closeness also play a big role. interestingly, people who are in a close relationship tend to not cooperate as much as we intuitively think they should. this is mainly because of the competition between them.

Situation factors that pushes the drive to be competitive are also elaborated on. For instance, according to a survey, people tend to be more competitive when there is an audience than when they are alone. additionally, when uncertainty is high, there is less cooperation and more competition.

Garcia et al finishes by pointing out some of the new research directions that could be brought about from the psychological perception of competition. A new social comparison lens is also seen from across many disciplines including psychology, and beyond psychology to economics and business. The application of the study of competition from the psychology point of view will help business men make rational business choices by studying how the competitors may make their choices,

Conclusively, I personally related a lot to what Garcia et al talked about in the research paper. Competition is indubitably going on on a daily basis and I feel the study on the psychological point of view of competition can help a lot in how we look at competitors or rivals and help us make rational decisions on how we approach competition.


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