The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective


The article is articulating different psychological factors that increase social comparison concerns and thus competitiveness. Garcia gave a detailed definition for the individual factors and situational factors and how these factors have a great impact on the percentage of increasing competition. The analysis of this article is quite different from Hutcheon’s paper. We can see there are two figures in the article in order to make the audience have a better understanding from the content. However, in Hutcheon’s paper, there are no figures or charts, Hutcheon mostly used other people’s claim as an evidence to backup her own claim.

In Garcia’s paper, the way he gave examples is similar to Bateson’s method, although the author introduced a lot of factors and it sounds somehow complex, he used basic examples from our daily life for every factors and this makes the content and terminology even more easy to comprehend, so the audience will not be confused about the definitions and move on to the next section. In addition, he utilized the framework to explain the interactions between situational and individual factors, which helps identify further open questions regarding the nature of the process by situational factors share comparison concerns and competitiveness. (Page 642) On the other hands, he also mentioned the defect of this framework, this made the audience know that there may be some exceptions. (Page 643)

The paper is published by Sage on behalf of Association Psychological Science, therefore this paper is relatively reliable for psychologists who wants to do further research on social comparison in the future.

After reading Garcia’s paper, I realized that there are many personal facts are based on psychology of competition. For example, one of the individual factors -relationship closeness, we are more willing to help strangers than our friends and feel more threatened by the success of our friends than by strangers. This finding is paradoxical, but somehow reflects on us.

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