The Competition Machine

Norman Triplett was a social psychologist who wanted to look at the effects of competition on people. To eliminate all variables that come up in typical sporting endeavors, he created a specialized apparatus. It was a winding wheel that pulled a long rope. He put hundreds of people through the experiment, with ages ranging from 9 years old up to middle aged people. He had them do a certain number of runs against the clock, and then equal runs against another person in a race.


The results? 50% of the participants did better when they went against someone then against the clock, 25% did no different regardless of situation, and 25% did worse against another person than against the impersonal-ness of the timer. So we know, without a doubt, that competition is really beneficial for the majority of people, and only ¼ is it harmful. And to those it is harmful tend to have other mental and emotional issues going on.


The hilarious part to me? This study was done in 1898! For over 120 years, we have had actual proof that competition is good, and yet here we are it the 21st century, with some people still arguing that competition will “get ya kilt in da streetz.” The simple fact is that competition helps you perform at a higher level. Period.


Weird how when you actually put on your critical thinking cap   things start to make sense.