The Relationship between Competition and Performance on Psychology Perspective

“The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective” written by Garcia et al is a review which focuses on the role of individual and situational factors that can increase social comparison concerns and thus competitiveness. In terms of  individual factors of competitiveness, this point divide into two factors, namely, personal factors and relational factors. Also, situational factors of social comparison include incentive structures, proximity to a standard, number of competitors, social category fault lines, audience, and uncertainty. By describing these points, authors explain the different influences between individual and situational factors.          

From these points, I find a really interesting connection with the supplemental reading ” Competition’s Role in Developing Psychological Strength and Outstanding Performance” which addresses an important relationship between competition and outstanding performance. In today’s reading, authors also mention the same kind of idea. For example, in the part of personal factor, for the example of verbal task, when people are told the positive correlation between verbal ability and intelligence, people tend to perform better in language ability and become more competitive than people who do not know the correlation. What is more, in the supplemental reading, authors use three settings, including sport, workplace and academic place, to explain that competition plays an important role in improving performance.

In addition, my above idea is different from the idea that classmate’s post–“The Psychology of Competition: Individual vs. Situational Factors” which indicates that  Garcia et al think competition is harmful to academic performance like Hutcheon’ idea. Personally, I think Garcia et al analyze the impact of individual and situational factors from an objective perspective. They do point out some benefits and disadvantages of competition, but they do not really push audience to believe anything.

1 Comment

  1. What impressed me the most when I read this article, is the fact that, the author Garcia et al. use of social comparison model of competitiveness which ranges from individual to situational factors and how degree of competitiveness arguably differs as per level of relevance, similarity and proximity among the players. This relates to almost every individual and across all social settings. This article is also left open ended giving the reader a chance to have their own take on the idea of competition. Unlike Bateson and Hutcheon’s article, the author put more emphasize on the factors that contribute to the level on competitiveness rather than refuting it. Competition can have both positive and negative impacts.


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