Investigating the frequency of spontaneously generated social and temporal between-individual comparisons
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Social and temporal comparison researchers to date have only looked at comparisons involving the self. The present investigation aims to extend comparison theory by examining social and temporal comparisons people make of others. Using movie reviews, the results support Festinger’s (1954) similarity hypothesis, such that lateral comparisons were more frequent than either upward or downward comparisons when the comparisons were social in nature. For temporal comparisons, on the other hand, there was no difference in the use of upward, downward, and lateral comparisons, which does not support Albert’s (1977) hypothesis that people are motivated to maintain a stable sense of self over time and should therefore prefer lateral comparisons over upward or downward comparisons. Implications about the use of between-individual comparisons as a way to expand comparison theory and the benefits of examining these types of comparisons for their own sake are discussed.
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Jennifer Kath (2008). Investigating the frequency of spontaneously generated social and temporal between-individual comparisons. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/3746
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