Social comparison and competition: General frameworks, focused models, and emerging phenomena

Stephen M. Garcia, Avishalom Tor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scholarship in psychology and related fields has been paying increasing attention in recent decades to the ways in which social comparison processes facilitate competitive attitudes, feelings, and behavior. As part of this development, we first advanced the Social Comparison Model of Competition (Garcia et al., 2013)-a general framework that accounted for the role of both individual and situational factors in this area- and later followed it with the more comprehensive Social Comparison Cycle of Competition (Garcia, Reese, et al., 2020). At the same time, researchers have also proposed a number of focused models to account for specific competitive relationships (e.g., rivalry), contexts (e.g., coaction), and more. In light of these important developments, this chapter briefly reviews the key takeaways from our general frameworks of social comparison and competition, demonstrates the insights offered by recognizing how more specific models fit into general frameworks, and illustrates the continued utility of these general frameworks for the study of emerging phenomena, such as social networks or sustainability, from the perspective of social comparison and competition.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Competition
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780190060831
ISBN (Print)9780190060800
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Oxford University Press 2024. All rights reserved.


  • Behavioral economics
  • Competition
  • Competitive feelings
  • Competitive motivation
  • Decision making
  • Social comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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