Affective response to social comparison in the classroom
Published on Sep 1, 2005in Basic and Applied Social Psychology1.534
· DOI :10.1207/S15324834BASP2703_4
In a study among 609 secondary school students, the affective reactions to social comparisons of grades were examined. Overall, the students reported more frequent responses to upward than to downward comparison, more identification than contrast in their comparisons, and more frequent responses implying a self-focus than an other-focus. The most frequent response was self-focused identification with an upward comparison target, that is, the hope that one might in the future receive a good grade similar to that of the target. In general, girls showed more altruistic and empathic responses, and boys more egocentric and hostile responses to social comparison. Those with a low performance level responded more often to downward comparison with the fear that they would receive a similar low grade on a next test.