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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)