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RankingThe Unwritten Rules of the Social Game We All Play$
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Péter Érdi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190935467

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190935467.001.0001

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Comparison, ranking, rating, and lists

Comparison, ranking, rating, and lists

(p.7) 2 Comparison, ranking, rating, and lists

Péter Érdi

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, four basic concepts—comparison, ranking, rating, and lists—are introduced, and a number of questions are discussed. Why do we compare ourselves with others? Is comparison the “thief of joy” or the driving force toward future successes? Are we born with the desire to compare ourselves with others, or do we learn in childhood that we should demonstrate that we are better or stronger than others? Is it true that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”? How are ratings of graduate school applicants prepared? How do we rate our pain in a medical office? Why do we have the top-10 mania, and why do we love listicles? Ranking of mathematicians and the rating of chess players are used to illustrate the main concepts.

Keywords:   social comparison theory, pairwise comparison, ranking, rating, algorithm, Erdős number, Elo rating, ordered lists, cognition, wisdom of the crowd

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