What Happens When Put in Stressful Competitive Situations?

In Buckert et. al’s essay, we are confronted with a familiar theme in the study of competition: stress. As students, we all experience many forms of stress in our daily lives, and this essay is an interesting look into the physiological things that can happen when under stress. This essay deals with competition and stress in economics. The researches ran studies in labs that made participants undertake arithmetic activities under three different conditions. The conclusion was that those participating in more competitive environments displayed symptoms of stress.

            There were many symptoms that the participants displayed when put in more competitive situations. These included increases in heart rate blood pressure. The study concluded that “the game condition including forced tournament was subjectively perceived as more stressful compared to the game condition with piece rate only and also elicited a stronger response of the sympathetic nervous system, i.e., a further increase in heart rate” (Buckert et. al, 243). When the subject perceived the game to be more competitive, they would display signs of stress. Overall, the authors do an excellent job in breaking down each specific physiological aspect of the indicators of stress. This is one of the most affective parts of the essay, because it provides a basis for which to understand the results of the studies.

            Buckert’s essay does many other things very well. The essay flows very well and is organized in such a way that it is easy to follow in terms of the authors throwing information at the reader. Further, I agree with @venellopegrace7719 that the amount of evidence and secondary sources used in this essay provides a form of legitimacy for this paper and the fact that the authors themselves admit that there are limitations in the study. This gives an opportunity to further expand on the present research.

Overall, this was in interesting paper that further expands our knowledge of competition. Learning about how we can be temporarily physiologically altered in competitive situations can help us understand competition better. Although, I did not find the results of the paper (increased signs of stress when in competitive situations) very surprising, this paper presents an extremely solid study to confirm the notion that people show signs of stress in economic competition.

Image Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-happens-your-body-when-youre-stressed-180964357/

1 Comment

  1. Hi kostaxinos6906,
    I really enjoyed this post. I totally agree with what you said about how the paper allows the readers to better understand stressful situations in economics and how there was a very specific breakdown and points made in the article that were well articulated in it. Personally, I have always thought of competition as very stressful and upon reading this paper I could easily relate to the stress conditions such as increased heart rate and blood pressure in the study. I wonder if you have any insights you might recommend for people who might encounter a stressful situation and do not know how to handle it?


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