Classic and current social comparison research: Expanding the perspective

Arie W. Kruglanski, Ofra Mayseless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article assumes that social comparisons (a) constitute comparative judgment governed by the general process that applies to all judgments, (b) possess a common comparative structure including simple judgments of comparison stimuli and their juxtaposition, and (c) possess unique contents that determine the subjects meanings of comparison outcomes and their psychological implications. Examined in these terms classical social comparison theory is found wanting in two respects: (a) It conveys a relatively fixed notion to similar others and predominatly for the sake of evaluative accuracy. (b) Its narrow scope excludes numerous singificant issues of interest to social comparison research today. It is proposed that the present, multilevel approach is useful for ordering past social comparison research and provides a heuristically rich paradigm for future work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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