Social Comparison

In: Psychology

Submitted By annabel
Words 1442
Pages 6
Social Comparison and Temporal Life Satisfaction In his theory of social comparison, Festinger (1954) identified the idea that human beings have the drive to look at others in order to evaluate their own opinions and abilities. Social comparison is categorized into two forms, namely downward and upward. Downward comparison occurs when an individual compares to others who are deemed as socially worse off, while upward social comparison acts in the opposite direction. Over the years, there have been various studies on the directional effects of both upward and downward comparison on an individual’s self evaluation. According to Suls, Martin, & Wheeler (2002), both downward and upward comparison can lead to people viewing their situations in a more positive way. Another research study by Buunk, Collins, Taylor, VanYperen, & Dakof (1990), showed that downward comparison evoked a fear in individuals about ending up in the same situation as their less fortunate comparisons. In return, the fear of “it could also happen to me” made people have a lower level of life satisfaction. Despite the various comprehensive researches done thus far, there is still no clear conclusion on the exact impact and effect of social comparison on an individual’s evaluation of his or her own attributes and attitudes and abilities. This is even more applicable to college students who are constantly evaluating their personal abilities and opinions by making comparisons to their peers. The type of social comparison chosen, namely the upward or downward conditions, might then play a significant role in impacting the level of temporal life satisfaction. Hence, this study aims to investigate the effect of the type of social comparison, downward or upward, on temporal life satisfaction. That is, to determine which type of social comparison, upward or downward, would have a more…...

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