The act of comparing something to something else is common in human society. It is a human tendency, and is even found in flies and monkeys. In fact, comparison is a defining trait of our species. Fortunately, there are many ways to limit or even avoid the act of comparison.
Comparison is human nature
The human tendency to compare is an inherent part of the human experience. It begins very early in life. Toddlers will compare their toys, lunch boxes, and even their exam results. They will also compare their exam results and drinking stamina. The same behavior is also common in monkeys. Scientists have observed that monkeys were happy to trade stones for grapes and cucumbers.
People who are most familiar with another person tend to be more influenced by that person. They often adopt the values, goals, and behavioral patterns of people they know well. This means they are more likely to compare their lives with the lives of others. In addition to this, people are also more likely to compare themselves with others if they are in the same situation as them.
Unfortunately, our tendency to compare ourselves with others can lead to frustrations with our loved ones. It can cause us to feel inferior and unworthy, as well as negatively affect our performance. This tendency can even lead us to act jealously or resentful towards others. But when we are aware of the way we behave, we can begin to prevent the negative effects of comparison.
Comparison can be spotted in monkeys
A recent study demonstrates that monkeys are capable of social comparison. These findings suggest that humans may have inherited these mechanisms. Monkeys may perform more successfully when a partner is more similar to them than they are to each other. However, it is unclear why monkeys would prefer the same partner over another.
In one experiment, researchers presented the monkeys with a picture that contained four large red squares. The monkeys were given a second image containing two small squares. The monkeys responded to the image with a preference for the large one. However, the monkeys were unable to detect the motor responses of their partners. This resulted in an inability to learn by observation.