This article investigates the phenomenon of interindividual rivalry and its consequences for motivation and task performance. Two studies of adults from the general population found that rivalry, as compared to nonrival competition, was associated with increased motivation and performance, controlling for tangible stakes, dislike, and other factors. Then, a large-scale archival study of long-distance running found that runners ran faster in races featuring their rivals, which were identified through empirical observation of demographics and prior race interactions. This research extends existing theory on competition and motivation and represents a first exploration into the consequences of rivalry between individuals.
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