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

The main argument within Garcia et al’s paper addresses the issue of social comparison and how individual and situational factors have an affect on people which causes competition and comparison to happen. Compare to other papers we have read so far, Garcia et al, as mentioned by leorelizur7645, “refrains from taking a stance for or against the concept of competition”. The main purpose of the paper is to serve as an foundation on the effects of individual and situation factors which in hope helps out other subfields of psychology and potentially other discipline that touches on the subject of competition. If we compare this with Molina et al’s paper where cooperation is described as an answer to competition we can see that within the two paper the definition of competition are very different. Molina et al stresses the coexistence of competition and cooperation has been around for all societies known to mankind through anthropological evidences. In Garcia et al’s paper, however, only the factors in which causes competition and comparison are listed therefore we can be certain the definition that Molina et al uses for competition is not applicable towards Garcia et al’s definition and vice versa.

To further illustrate how competition arises in our lives I would like to expand on one of the situation factors within Garcia et al’s paper which emphasizes how uncertainty plays a role in increasing the competition tension around our environment. Buying luxury goods is a great example where uncertainty takes control of the consumers’ competitiveness. Most luxury goods come in limited quantity, not knowing how many people are interested in said item can stir up quite the guessing game between potential competitors, which in this case are the people who want like to purchase the item. This can be seen as competitive as example ranges from people lining up as early as two days before for a product release or making multiple account online to participate in lottery draws in order to have a chance to purchase said item. Uncertainty also makes a connection to Rubin’s paper where people fear the market not only because of the competitiveness within but also not knowing whether the market will result in profit or loss as time goes on (ie. stock market).

Garcia et al’s paper is a credible source that can potentially help researches in the future expand on the subject regarding competition. While the definition differs from that of Molina et al or Rubin, it is still very precise in addressing the many factors that leads to competition and social comparison which as research in this area continues we can be certain that something we current do not know will be answered and as a result brings more question to the perspective on competition.

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  1. Thanks for your insightful response, and I really enjoy your discussion on “uncertainty” in buying luxury goods and also relates it to Rubin’s idea, that’s really straightforward. However, I personally think we cannot say that the definition that Molina et al uses for competition is not applicable towards Garcia et al’s definition. Molina emphasizes the relationship between competition and cooperation, which is coexistence rather than resistance to each other, while Garcia however discusses the factors that lead to social comparison and in turn influence competitiveness. They are just talking about competition from different angles. Maybe you can offer more insight on definitions that Garcia’s is incompatible with Molina’s?


  2. Thank you for responding! The conclusion i reached upon comparing the two paper is that Molina has a clear stance on competition which is the coexistence of competition and cooperation while Garcia, having more examples regarding competition and cooperation, does not take a stance on the matter when compared to Molina. Therefore in my opinion while some of Garcia’s definition might be applicable towards Molina it is hard to say that the reverse holds true as well.


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