Health, Coping, and Well-Being: Perspectives from Social Comparison Theory. The self in thought and memory. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 315- 332. Social comparison, self-evaluation and conformity to the group. People with low self-esteem and negative affect improve their mood by making downward comparisons.
Finally, as much of the applied work suggests, additional studies may reveal the range of consequences of social comparisons for individuals, relationships, and groups. Evidence that people under threat avoid social comparisons or make upward social comparisons does not contradict downward social comparison theory; it merely suggests that those people have other comparison strategies available to them. The second level, which is less universal documents that social comparison as grouping, allocates a specific type of judgment structure. In comparison, your performance is much better. Steph Seidel Mass Media and Public Opinion Social Comparison Reaction Paper The social comparison theory was developed by Leo Festinger in 1954, and supposes that human beings are innately driven to evaluate their opinions, abilities and overall self-worth. Lerner and Gerold Mikula, eds.
It appears that women's perceptions stem from their comparisons with other women rather than with men in general or even with men in their same occupations, resulting in lower pay entitlements e. In the article, the author details a new apparatus for students to record their social comparison methods. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 14, 291- 303. One might suppose that upward comparisons would typically lead to contrast effects, that is, the conclusion of relative inferiority. A theory of social comparison processes. Not all methods, however, truly capture social comparison.
The implications for an ability evaluation are ambiguous, however, because other plausible causes the superior related attributes allow the discounting of low ability. Looking at what others have done tells us that 39 home runs is much better than average, but far short of record-breaking. Next, any factors which increase the importance of some particular group as a comparison group from some particular opinion or ability will increase the pressure toward uniformity concerning that ability or opinion within that group. In fact, if a target's similarity is seen as a threat, due to the target outperforming the individual on some dimension, the individual may downplay the similarity of the target to themselves. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1966- 1981. For example, a music student might compare herself to the star student of the class.
This can be seen through comparison via physical reality or by through other people. First, it has become clear that upward social comparisons can benefit people under threat. What does this have to do with the social comparison theory? Yet another example is the extensive, developing literature on the implications of social comparison for subjective well-being and health Buunk and Gibbons 1997. Why donât we use objective criteria? New York: Oxford University Press. How do people know if they can run fast? If someone's cancer is worse, they feel like their situation isn't so bad. The opinion of the comparer and whether the proxy exerted maximum effort on a preliminary task are variables influencing his or her opinion.
Furthermore, from the article I had found limitations are always present in any research. When the only meaningful standard is the top, then high-ranking individuals are most competitive with their peers, and individuals at low and intermediate ranks are equally competitive. In order to be successful retailers need to diversify their staff, as to not alienate less attractive customers. Let's go back to the home run scenario above. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 2 377-389 Jordan, A. Another principle discusses how individuals will not evaluate themselves against someone that they perceive to be wholly different and instead, will find someone perceived as similar to ensure accurate self-evaluation.
Similarly, the extensive applications of the theory cross levels of analysis. Social comparison and interpersonal attraction: The case for dissimilarity. Bylsma 1991 Responses to Upward and Downward Social Comparisons: The Impact of Esteem-Relevance and Perceived Control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 563-579. In contrast, when they believe that they do have control over the comparison dimension or feel dissimilar to the target, they are likely to feel better after making downward social comparisons. Next, Festinger hypothesizes that there are non-social restraints that make it difficult or even impossible to change one's ability and these restraints are largely absent for opinions. This notion ties closely to the phenomena in psychology introduced also by Leon Festinger himself as it relates to the diminishing of cognitive dissonance.
Adults measure themselves against others more in regards to prosperity, success, finance, and occupation. Why do we do this? Festinger believed that individuals have an inner drive and motivation to evaluate themselves objectively and will measure themselves against others if there is no objective measurement readily available. This is one process that underlies how an individual engages in social comparison. Are there other, better ways we can do this? Unresolved questions and new directions are discussed. Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Social comparison and the development of achievement motivation. Identifying similarities between oneself and a less fortunate other could be daunting and pull on the heartstrings, while it hits close to home.