Are we competing against ourselves?

Competition can bring both advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation in which it is being applied. From Hutcheon’s paper we learned that competition hinders academic learning and from Nelson and Dawson we learned that competition can be beneficial in moderation. With these perspectives a question comes to mind and that is why do we compete in the first place? As addressed in Bonte et al’s paper there is no significant relation with competitiveness motivated by personal development which means we are not competing because it will benefit us as a person but rather something else. I think inherently our environment encourages competitiveness that when there is no benefit to be reap people still choose to compete because they have been told to do so by their surroundings. 

As mentioned by ssjpark1993 most of the time we are competitive because the situation calls for it and not because we choose to be competitive in the situation. Using the Red-Blue experiment done by Berg as and example, participants only competed because of the rules of the game. If hypothetically competition only exist because of the different situations that we put us in then the scope of research of competition might have to include the many situation as a potential study regarding the area on competition. For example, when we are eating by ourselves and there is no time limit on when the finish the meal we might find ourselves taking the leisure of time to enjoy the meal, however, if we were instructed to have something to do afterwards and we must finish the meal in 15 minute we might find ourselves to be eating much more faster than before. This everyday example is an implication that we are constantly running under a set of rules and in order to follow those rules we are not competing against anyone but rather with ourselves constantly. It is important to think about what leads us to competition and once we understand the rules which drives us then we can have a better control over this inherit ability to respond to situations with competition.

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1 Comment

  1. The idea of self-driven competitive nature was demonstrated very clearly, especially the meal case shows great relevance for everyone. Also the referring of Berg’s article was quite inspiring!


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