Reading Response to The Psychology of Competition

Garcia et al argued social comparison always played an important role of competitive behavior. By analyzing two specific factors: individual factors and situational factors to indicate the influence on social comparison, by comparing their difference to stand on more objective perspective of psychological way to stimulate competition.  

By contrasting to Molina’s article, from structure side, here I agreed with ssjpark1993’s idea about “Garcia paper presents the idea like a scientific experiment”, Garcia’s research is more like a systematical analysis to investigate the deep concept and interact from individual factors and situational factors, for Molina’s article, it pay more attention on macroscopic perspective of social anthropology, by contrasting the situations in different social model to verify the coexist of cooperation and competition. For content side, Garcia’s paper was wide to explain competition on psychological view from two factors, Molina’s paper was more focus on “situational factors” mentioned in Garcia’s paper. (e.g. gene, kin selection, and the influence of different social environment)

In class, we have already got plenty of ideas about competition, but it is clear to distinguish that the way for them to present their idea was different. Bateson argue people should be living as a part of the whole system, emphasizing the importance of interdependence and neglecting the usage of competition and pointed out a clear anti-competition idea, which seems she got the argument from a personal side without reasoned evidence. Molina present cooperation and competition coexist in our known society, which illustrate his point through several cases of society, “hunter-gathers”, “tribes”, “peasants”. For Garcia’s article, he didn’t present an argument to determine cooperation or competition, just the explanation for competitive behavior from individual factors and situational factors, which is more like to display the fact and let audience to think and decide. Personally, I prefer Garcia’s way. From my perspective, Competition and cooperation are opposite and contradictory, but competition is the basis of cooperation, cooperation is also the inevitable cause from competition, only those with competitiveness will have the need for cooperation. Therefore, competition and cooperation are both a contradiction and a win-win partner.

For my own thought, just like Garcia mentioned about “competitions are ubiquitious”, competition actually effected people since people were born, here I got the inspiration from melaniechen9985’s article about sibling comparison, he pointed out social comparison is relatable to everyone in psychological perspective, for deeper thinking here, I got the point of “relationship closeness” point from individual factors that I was more like to compare and always try to surpass my siblings, classmates, or someone else familiar with me, it will truly increase the competition to myself, but for others the will of competition was low even they were stronger than me in some fields I did well in it, that was a new point I never thought in psychological way.

Image link

Link to ssjpark1993

Link to melaniechen9985



  1. Hello, I really like your reading response because I see how you took both objective and subjective views into the article. I agree that Garcia’s research is more like systematical analysis in a way they introduce a new model by assembling all the evidence from research findings out there. I also find it very interesting how you linked to melaniechen9985’s work about sibling comparison which is something we haven’t talked about in class!


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