Motivational Effects in the Social Comparison of Opinions

Arie W. Kruglanski, Ofra Mayseless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four experiments were executed to test the effects of different epistemic motivations on subjects' tendency to compare with agreeing or disagreeing others. We found that under high (vs. low) fear of invalidity, subjects tend more to compare with disagreeing (vs. agreeing) others. By contrast, under high (vs. low) need for self-confirmation or a high (vs. low) need for cognitive structure, subjects tended more to compare with agreeing others. These results are discussed in reference to social comparison formulations (Festinger, 1954; Goethals & Darley, 1977) and the theory of lay epistemology (Kruglanski & Ajzen, 1983; Kruglanski & Freund, 1983).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-842
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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