5,578 research outputs found

    The N-Effect More Competitors, Less Competition

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    This article introduces the N-effect—the discovery that increasing the number of competitors (N) can decrease competitive motivation. Studies 1a and 1b found evidence that average test scores (e.g., SAT scores) fall as the average number of test takers at test-taking venues increases. Study 2 found that individuals trying to finish an easy quiz among the top 20% in terms of speed finished significantly faster if they believed they were competing in a pool of 10 rather than 100 other people. Study 3 showed that the N-effect is strong among individuals high in social-comparison orientation and weak among those low in social-comparison orientation. Study 4 directly linked the N-effect to social comparison, ruling out ratio bias as an explanation of our results and finding that social comparison becomes less important as N increases. Finally, Study 5 found that the N-effect is mediated by social comparison. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed

    The N-Effect: Beyond Probability Judgments

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    The N-effect (Garcia & Tor, 2009) is a phenomenon in which the motivation to compete decreases as the number of competitors increases, even when controlling for overall expected payoffs. In their thoughtful Commentary, Mukherjee and Hogarth (2010) astutely argue that, given ability differences in the population, the greater sampling error (SE) in small-N settings increases weaker competitors’ individual probability of winning, potentially increasing their motivation.1 Although SE may sometimes contribute to the N-effect, we explain here why SE is a theoretically unlikely account of our 2009 findings,2 and experimentally demonstrate the persistence of the N-effect under conditions in which an SE effect should not appear

    Rankings, Standards, and Competition: Task vs. Scale Comparisions

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    Research showing how upward social comparison breeds competitive behavior has so far conflated local comparisons in task performance (e.g. a test score) with comparisons on a more general scale (i.e. an underlying skill). Using a ranking methodology (Garcia, Tor, & Gonzalez, 2006) to separate task and scale comparisons, Studies 1–2 reveal that an upward comparison on the scale (e.g. being surpassed in rank), rather than in the mere task (e.g., being outperformed), is necessary to generate competition among rivals proximate to a standard (e.g. ranked #3 vs. 4, near “the top”); rivals far from a standard (e.g. ranked #203 vs. 204), on the other hand, still tend to cooperate. Study 3 illustrates this finding with player trades in Major League Baseball. Study 4 further shows how an implicit scale comparison, instead of the commonly assumed explicit task comparison, may account for those classical competition findings in the literature. Study 5 then reveals how scale ranking becomes all important in the proximity of a standard, leading rivals to tolerate even an upward scale comparison to increase their proximity to the standard. Implications for the increasingly popular “forced ranking” management systems (e.g., at General Electric) are also discussed

    Positive regulation of meiotic DNA double-strand break formation by activation of the DNA damage checkpoint kinase Mec1(ATR)

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    During meiosis, formation and repair of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) create genetic exchange between homologous chromosomes-a process that is critical for reductional meiotic chromosome segregation and the production of genetically diverse sexually reproducing populations. Meiotic DSB formation is a complex process, requiring numerous proteins, of which Spo11 is the evolutionarily conserved catalytic subunit. Precisely how Spo11 and its accessory proteins function or are regulated is unclear. Here, we use Saccharomyces cerevisiae to reveal that meiotic DSB formation is modulated by the Mec1(ATR) branch of the DNA damage signalling cascade, promoting DSB formation when Spo11-mediated catalysis is compromised. Activation of the positive feedback pathway correlates with the formation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) recombination intermediates and activation of the downstream kinase, Mek1. We show that the requirement for checkpoint activation can be rescued by prolonging meiotic prophase by deleting the NDT80 transcription factor, and that even transient prophase arrest caused by Ndt80 depletion is sufficient to restore meiotic spore viability in checkpoint mutants. Our observations are unexpected given recent reports that the complementary kinase pathway Tel1(ATM) acts to inhibit DSB formation. We propose that such antagonistic regulation of DSB formation by Mec1 and Tel1 creates a regulatory mechanism, where the absolute frequency of DSBs is maintained at a level optimal for genetic exchange and efficient chromosome segregation

    Social Categories and Group Preference Disputes: The Aversion to Winner-Take-All Solutions

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    Six studies explored the hypothesis that third parties are averse to resolving preference disputes with winner-take-all solutions when disputing factions belong to different social categories (e.g. gender, nationality, firms, etc.) versus the same social category. Studies 1—3 showed that third parties' aversion to winner-take-all solutions, even when they are based on the unbiased toss of a coin, is greater when the disputed preferences correlate with social category membership than when they do not. Studies 4—6 suggested that reluctance to resolve inter-category disputes in a winner-take-all manner is motivated by a desire to minimize the affective disparity—the hedonic gap—between the winning and losing sides. The implication is that winner-take-all outcomes, even those that satisfy conditions of procedural fairness, become unacceptable when disputed preferences cleave along social category lines

    Experimental investigation of the mechanical stiffness of periodic framework-patterned elastomers

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    Recent advances in the cataloguing of three-dimensional nets mean a systematic search for framework structures with specific properties is now feasible. Theoretical arguments about the elastic deformation of frameworks suggest characteristics of mechanically isotropic networks. We explore these concepts on both isotropic and anisotropic networks by manufacturing porous elastomers with three different periodic net geometries. The blocks of patterned elastomers are subjected to a range of mechanical tests to determine the dependence of elastic moduli on geometric and topological parameters. We report results from axial compression experiments, three-dimensional X-ray computed tomography imaging and image-based finite-element simulations of elastic properties of framework-patterned elastomers

    The Psychology of Competition: A Social Comparison Perspective

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    Social comparison—the tendency to self-evaluate by comparing ourselves to others—is an important source of competitive behavior. We propose a new model that distinguishes between individual and situational factors that increase social comparison and thus lead to a range of competitive attitudes and behavior. Individual factors are those that vary from person to person: the relevance of the performance dimension, the similarity of rivals, and their relationship closeness to the individual, as well as the various individual differences variables relating to social comparison more generally. Situational factors, conversely, are those factors on the social comparison landscape that affect similarly situated individuals: proximity to a standard (i.e., near the number 1 ranking vs. far away), the number of competitors (i.e., few vs. many), social category fault lines (i.e., disputes across vs. within social categories), and more. The distinction between individual and situational factors also helps chart future directions for social comparison research and generates new vistas across psychology and related disciplines

    Ranks and Rivals: A Theory of Competition

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    Social comparison theories typically assume a comparable degree of competition between commensurate rivals on a mutually important dimension. In contrast, however, the following set of studies reveals that the degree of competition between such rivals depends on their proximity to a standard. Studies 1-3 test the prediction that individuals become more competitive and less willing to maximize profitable joint gains when they and their commensurate rivals are highly ranked (e.g., #2 vs. #3) than when they are not (e.g., #202 vs. #203). Studies 4-6 then generalize these findings, showing that the degree of competition increases not only for high ranks but also in the proximity of other meaningful standards, such as the bottom of a ranking scale or a qualitative threshold in the middle of a scale. Studies 7-8 further examine the psychological processes underlying the present findings and reveal that proximity to a meaningful standard exerts a direct impact on the unidirectional drive upward, beyond the established effects of commensurability and dimension relevance

    I'll Have Fries with That: Increasing Choice Complexity Promotes Indulgent Food Choices

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    Three studies showed that the way that options are presented in a choice set—as combinations of intersecting attributes or in a more sequential “a la carte” choice format—affects the degree to which consumers adhere to their goals in the consumption setting. Specifically, using the context of food consumption and healthy eating, results showed that consumers were more likely to make double indulgent choices, the choice of both an indulgent entrée and an indulgent side item, when choosing from a menu consisting of predetermined “combination meals” than when selecting among the same entrée and side options in an a la carte fashion. Studies 2 and 3 implicated a goal distraction mechanism in driving the effect; the combination format, with its cross‐cutting of product choices into various combinations, reduces the salience of goal‐related constructs on implicit measures. In showing that different product presentation formats can affect the degree to which consumers make goal‐consistent choices, the current work adds to work on the effects of environmental influences on goal progress and goal achievement. Implications for encouraging goal‐consistent behavior in the context of healthy eating as well as other important consumer goal contexts are discussed.Peer Reviewedhttp://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/122406/1/mar20893.pd

    A haplotype-resolved draft genome of the European sardine (Sardina pilchardus)

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    The European sardine (Sardina pilchardus Walbaum, 1792) is culturally and economically important throughout its distribution. Monitoring studies of sardine populations report an alarming decrease in stocks due to overfishing and environmental change, which has resulted in historically low captures along the Iberian Atlantic coast. Important biological and ecological features such as population diversity, structure, and migratory patterns can be addressed with the development and use of genomics resources.Agência financiadora Portuguese national funds from FCT-Foundation for Science and Technology: UID/Multi/04326/2016; European Regional Development Fund (FEDER): 22153-01/SAICT/2016; ALG-01-0145-FEDER-022121; ALG-01-0145-FEDER-022231; MAR2020 operational programme of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (project SARDI-NOMICS): MAR-01.04.02-FEAMP-0024; European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme: 654008info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio
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