Stephen Garcia Ph.D.

Stephen Garcia, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology and of organizational studies at the University of Michigan. His primary research program explores the psychology of competition through the lens of social comparison processes. For example, his work has uncovered the N-Effect. This discovery reveals that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the motivation to compete decreases as the number of competitors increases when controlling for expected payoff. Other papers explore the impact of rankings on rivalries and its implications for maximizing joint gains and entering joint ventures.

Garcia’s work appears in leading journals such as Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, and Perspectives on Psychological Science. Much of his research has been featured in media outlets around the world including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times (of London), The Globe and Mail, and Der Spiegel. His previous industry experience at Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo was at the intersection of marketing, risk management, and strategy. Garcia is a graduate of Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton.

Author of

Keeping up with the Joneses

The causes and consequences of social comparison Read now.