Emotional vs. instrumental attraction to a better vs. a similarly performing other was examined in the present study. In line with the SEM model (Tesser, 1988) it was hypothesized that emotional attraction to a similarly performing other would be higher than attraction to a better performing other under high relevance, and vice versa under low relevance. Instrumental attraction to the better performing other would be higher than the attraction to a similarly performing other under both high and low relevance. In a factorial design, high school students were exposed to a better or similar other's performance on an intelligence test (high relevance) or a literature knowledge test (low relevance), after which both emotional and instrumental attraction were measured. It was found that, regardless of relevance, emotional attraction was higher to the similar than to the better performing other, and instrumental attraction was higher to the better than to the similarly performing other. The results are discussed in terms of the SEM model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science