Know who you're up against: Counterpart identifiability enhances competitive behavior

Uriel Haran, Ilana Ritov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on pro-social behavior reports greater generosity and helping behavior toward merely identifiable persons, whose identities have been determined but not revealed, than toward unspecified, "statistical" targets. This work investigates whether identifiability can have a similar effect on behavior in competitive contexts. Data from three experiments show that providing arbitrary, non-identifying information about one's competition enhances one's goal-driven behavior: in competitive tasks, participants competing vs. merely identifiable counterparts displayed greater perseverance and performed better than participants whose counterparts were undetermined; in a dyadic bid setting, participants offered more money to outbid an identifiable counterpart for an auctioned product than an unspecified counterpart. In addition, we found that the effects of identifiability on competitors' behavior were associated more strongly with the motivation not to lose than with the desire to win.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume54
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Auction
  • Competitiveness
  • Identifiability
  • Motivation
  • Social comparison

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Know who you're up against: Counterpart identifiability enhances competitive behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this