Imagine that you are nervously sitting in class as your professor begins to hand back your graded midterm. You wait in anticipation as she slides your upside down paper toward you. You take a deep breath as you flip the paper over to see that you passed. Just as you breathe a sigh of relief, you begin to look around and wonder, “What did everyone else get?”
You get a feeling of unease as you ponder this question. You scan the room, wondering whether or not to ask your classmates what they received on the test. You cannot explain why you are so eager to know, yet the desire is there. The need to know where you are in comparison to others is strong, and you do not know why.
I have the answer, and it is one word: Competition.