Long Term Effects Based on Short Term Findings

M. Buckert et al. studied physiological stress responses to an economic lad paradigm, but what would happen if we applied these findings long term? The physiological responses measured where only measured before, during, and a small about of time after the participants were done the game. Not all stress responses are easily detectable when dealing with the short-term effects of stress, such as the physiological sympathetic system responses measured in this experiment. In the context of modern-day life, people are consistently placed under this type of forced tournament game condition consistently throughout their days over a long period of time.  If these experiments were applied over such a time period, we could gain value of being able to connect how these consistent forced tournament game situations elicit stress responses which are more realistic to peoples lives.

               Short term some physiological stress responses measured in the experiment were not significant such as the cortisol levels due to the short-term measure of the experiment.  When stress is present in the body over a long period of time physiological stress responses becomes intensified such as cortisol levels, measured in one’s saliva are higher.  Real life daily stressors tend to be stronger than the stressor used in the experiment, and thus it is reasonable to infer that real-life stressors would elicit similar physiological responses but to a higher degree. The long-term health effects of these intensified physiological responses is what could be useful in determining the effect of forced tournament game conditions in modern day life.

               This also begs the question of how consistent stress would affect our likelihood for self-selection onto competitive environments. Along with the factor of coping styles, active coping style or passive coping style. The long-term effects of stress have the possibility of being more harmful than short term stress and so as a method to maintain proper health an individual may feel that additional competition, in the context of the forced tournament game setting, is more so a threat than a challenge. Which according the M. Buckert et al. would predict a decrease in people willing to self-select into competitive environments.

               In relation to Bateson, who view cooperation as superior over competition as it is the basis of human life, she might consider competition as a threat. If competition is a viewed as a threat according to M. Buckert et al. Batson would be more likely to refrain from self-selection into competitive environments.

               Hutcheons would relate those who perceive competition as a challenge to those who are possibly more likely to act wolfishly in a discourse setting. Those who would be willing to act in highly competitive ways such as the wolfish behaviour Hutcheons mentioned, would clearly be more likely to view competition as a challenge rather than a threat. Thus reinforcing M. Buckerts et al. claim that those who view competition as a challenge are more likely to self-select into competitive environments (involve themselves in wolfish behaviour).


               In Blaise Appolinarys reading response to J. Tepper, linked above, he argued than in the long run competition in the market will present overall benefits unless done incorrectly. To justify this, they stated that competition is what motivated J. Tepper to get to the level he is at today. J. Tepper in this sense could be said to view competition as a challenge that he used to motivated himself, and that is why he has reaped such benefits. Although it is interesting to consider that if J. Tepper viewed competition as a thread rather than a challenge, his approach to the markets and possibly his success may have been very different. From this it might be possible to say that in some naturally competitive environments such as a business market active coping strategy are most useful in obtain success.


  1. Your response was very well written, I enjoyed reading it. You talked a lot about the idea of what would the symptoms be if they were more similar to daily-life and were long-term versus short-term. I was wondering, what do you think the effects would be if they had observed people in real life situations for long periods of time? Do you think this could have significant effects on people’s mental healths? Do you think that constant stress due to forced competition could be a source for poor mental health in people today?


  2. Hi @kaitlynmayers5,
    Thanks for this interesting reading response! I found it interesting that you apply coping styles to Bateson and Hutcheon. And I agree with you that the long term effect might be derived from the short term findings, since plenty of people I’ve encountered in my life who don’t often involve in competition and always satisfied with their current situations are the ones most likely to be happy and relaxed. On the other side, people who want to thrive but still not being able to are usually the most depressed. We are all exposed under competitive situations, the coping styles decide a lot.


  3. Thank you for your reading response. I enjoyed reading it.
    I found your argument convincing. As you mentioned, the stressor in the daily life has a tendency to be stronger than the stressor in the experiment. Considering the fact will lead to the better result.


  4. I thought your connection to long-term impact of stress and this article was super interesting, and was something I hadn’t considered. I’m learning about this exact topic in another class, and we talk about the different impact of chronic vs. acute stress. Like you mentioned, I think that continuing to choose highly competitive environments would be considered chronic stress and would have some serious health implications. Additionally, I think it’s interesting to think about the physiological impact of stress on Type A personalities, who tend to be more competitive and achievement-striving, and often seek the kinds of environments that promote this mentality. I was wondering, what do you think are some potentially effective health interventions that would be able to address this issue in terms of competition’s impact on the body through stress?


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