Response to Garcia et al “Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective “

In the article “The Psychology of Competition:  A Social Comparison Perspective” by Garcia et al talk about social comparison is an important source of competitive behavior by comparing the tendency of self-evaluation between oneself and others. The article has distinguished between individual and situational factors that increase social comparison and thus lead to a range of competitive attitudes and behavior.

In this lesson, we have read many articles about competition and cooperation, but each one has many similarities and of course many differences. “The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective” is a long article that contains a lot of good evidence, but the author does not show a clear position and does not indicate whether his ideas are against or encourage competition. They objective analyze the possible causes of competition from two aspects: individual factors and situational factors. Comparing with other articles we have read, most of them clearly express his anti-competitive ideas. For example, in the article “The Myths of Independence and Competiton” by Bateson emphasis “humans will only survive by thinking systematically at acting together, not as competitive organisms but as parts of interdependent systems.” Let people feel that competition is been totally denied that make me feel the article is more subjective, and try to convince you with their article. But Garcia et al’s article is just an analysis of competition, which is more objective.

Fionahuang001 said, “personally appreciate the way how Garcia et al. They simply present the possible explanations of competitive behaviors from the psychological perspective and leave the audience to decide how they are going to utilize their information.” I agree with him that Garcia et al’s article gives readers room to judge by themselves, so I appreciate Garcia et al’s articles too. They gave me many new ideas about competition through their article. Competition and cooperation surely both will exist in society. We can not avoid competition even we understand the benefits of cooperation. At the same time, competition is also two-sided and can not simply use good or bad to judge.

Work Cited

Garcia, Stephen M., et al. “The Psychology of Competition.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 8, no. 6, 2013, pp. 634–650., doi:10.1177/1745691613504114.

Fionahuang001 ‘s reading response:



  1. Hello, your article is very good, and you are very objective in analyzing and comparing these two scholars’ papers, except the content, I think it’s also possible to compare the structure of these two articles. At the end of the article, you mentioned that they have many new ideas to you about the competition through their article, I want to know how you see the relationship between cooperation and competition.


  2. I think cooperation and competition are inseparable. Competition for cooperation also is cooperation for competition. They are all inevitable, and none of them is better than the other one.


  3. I agree with how Garcia’s article does not show a clear stance on whether the author is supporting or disapproving the competition. Yet, the author’s wide range of examples allowed me to judge and believe that the different forms of competition (whether it’s good or bad) inevitably exist.


  4. Hi, I agree with what Fionahuang001 said, the one you referred. Garcia and other authors all left some thoughtful points that we will have to think and face in the future. Not just in the school, also when we get a job, everything nearby will automatically become some competition. It’s no game. Thank you again for bringing us this article.


  5. You did a good work by referencing and linking to another previous classmate’s post. I agree with you that “the author does not show a clear position and does not indicate whether his ideas are against or encourage competition”. From my point of view, Garcia et al mainly focus on what factors and how (here, by increasing social comparison) they lead to competitive behavior, rather than whether competition is good or bad. They propose the social comparison model of competition, a new model, that are used to analyze the effects of individual and situational factors to competitive behavior. For instance, audiences, a situational factor, increase comparison concerns and thus competitiveness.


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