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Social comparison processes: theoretical and empirical perspectives

Author: Suls, Jerry M. ; Miller, Richard L.Publisher: Wiley, 1977.Language: EnglishDescription: 371 p. ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0470991747Type of document: BookBibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical references and index
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Book Europe Campus
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Print HM251 .S63 1977
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Available 001221351
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Includes bibliographical references and index


Social Comparison Processes Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives Contents Contributors Preface xi x 1 SOCIAL COMPARISON THEORY AND RESEARCH: AN OVERVIEW FROM 1954 Jerry M. Suls Introduction 1 Festinger's Social Comparison Theory 2 Developments in the 1950s to the mid-1960s 8 Developments Since 1966, and the Present Volume References 17 1 15 2 CHOICE OF COMPARISON PERSONS IN EVALUATING ONESELF Charles L. Gruder Introduction 21 Motivational Issues 22 Reinforcement via Uncertainty Reduction 22 Two Functions of Social Comparison 23 Conflict Between Self-Evaluation and Self-Enhancement 24 Preference for Self-Evaluation 24 Preference for Self-Enhancement 25 Satisfaction of Self-Evaluation and Self-Enhancement 29 Focus on Evaluated Trait or Ability 30 Additional Comparison Dimensions 34 Measuring Self-Enhancement and Self-Evaluation 36 Summary and Conclusions 37 References 38 21 iv CONTENTS 3 AFFILIATION, SOCIAL COMPARISON, AND SOCIALLY MEDIATED STRESS REDUCTION Nickolas B. Cottrell and Stephen W. Epley Introduction 43 Emotional Antecedents of Affiliation 43 Fear Prompts Affiliation 44 Firstborns Affiliate When Afraid, But Later-Borns Do Not 44 Affiliation and Other Emotional States 44 Emotional Comparison Theory 46 Fear Produces Affiliation for Social Comparison 46 Uncertainty Produces Affiliation for Social Comparison 49 Emotionality and Uncertainty as Joint Determinants of Affiliation 51 Emotional Comparison and Social Influence 52 Looking at Other Persons for Social Comparison 53 Emotional Comparison Theory: Progress and Prospects 56 Socially Mediated Stress Reduction 57 Self-Reported Reactions to Stress 58 Physiological Responses to Stress 59 Task Performance in Response to Stress 60 Socially Mediated Stress Reduction: Conclusions 65 Summary 66 References 66 4 SOCIAL COMPARISON AND INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION: THE CASE FOR DISSIMILARITY David R. Mettee and Gregory Smith Purpose and Overview--The Value of Being Different 69 Definition and Scope 69 Social Comparison for Purposes of Self-Evaluation--What It Is and What It Isn't 69 Self-Evaluation Needs Served by Social Comparison 72 Attraction Effects of Social Comparison Feedback 72 The Nature of the Comparison Event in Which Comparison Feedback Is Generated 74 Basic Conceptual Framework: The Case for Dissimilarity 76 Blunted Affective Consequences and Dissimilarity 76 Dissimilar Others as Sources of Better Information 77 Desirability of Available Comparison Others: I. Comparison Preferences 79 Aroused Need for Self-Evaluation and Affiliation Preference for Comparison Others--The Superior Usefulness of Information Derived from Dissimilar Comparison Others 79 43 69 CONTENTS Preferences for Dissimilar Comparison Others Who Have Become Nonthreatening 82 Deeper Relationships and the Increased Value of Dissimilarity 83 The Superiority of Dissimilar Comparison Others for Purposes of Self-Definition 84 When It Is Better to Be Different 85 Desirability of Available Comparison Others: II. Feedback and Attraction 85 Dissimilar Others as Sources of More Potent Comparative Feedback 85 The Two-Edged Sword Effect: Dissimilar Others as Less Potent Sources of Affective Feedback 87 Conclusions and Implications 94 Limitations of the Evidence: Reasons for a Cautious Conclusion Social Comparison and Siblings: Contrast Versus Identification Comparison with Prior Acquaintances 97 Social Comparison and a Comprehensive Theory of Self-Evaluation 98 References 98 5 AFFILIATION PREFERENCES AS A FUNCTION OF ATTITUDE AND ABILITY SIMILARITY Richard L. Miller and Jerry M Suls Introduction 103 Predictions from Festinger's Theory and Prior Research 104 Study I: The Effects of Ability on Affiliation Preferences in Cooperative and Competitive Interactions 105 Study II: Ability Considerations in Partner Selection for Cooperative Work 108 Study III: Ability and Size of Group Considerations for Partner Selection 112 Study IV: Attitude and Ability Considerations in Partner Selection Study V: Attitude and Ability Considerations--A Replication and Extension 118 Study VI: The Effects of Attitude and Ability Similarity on Satisfaction with Cooperative Interaction 118 Summary and Conclusions 121 Implications for Social Comparison Processes 122 References 124 94 95 103 115 6 INVESTIGATIONS IN THE SOCIAL COMPARISON OF ATTITUDES Carl H. Castore and John A. DeNinno 125 Introduction 125 Study I 129 vi CONTENTS Study II 132 Study III 135 Study IV 139 Study V 142 Study VI 143 Conclusions References 144 147 7 PLEASURE AND PAIN IN SOCIAL COMPARISON Philip Brickman and Ronnie Janoff Bulman Introduction 149 Norms Concerning Social Comparison 151 Experiment I: Preference for Nonreciprocal Social Comparison 154 Problems of Inferiority 157 Experiment II: Greater Sensitivity of Minorities to Comparison 160 Experiment III: Preference for Successful Others of Different Generation and Same Background 163 Problems of Superiority 165 Problems of Equality 170 Experiment IV: Preference for Diverse and Noncomparable Equality 171 Advantages of Minimizing Social Comparisons 174 A Balance of Forces Model for Social Comparison 178 References 181 8 SOCIAL COMPARISON, SELF-EVALUATION, AND CONFORMITY TO THE GROUP Vernon L Allen and David A. Wilder Introduction 187 Conformity 188 Discrepancy with the Group 189 Forced Comparison 190 Subjective and Objective Competence 191 Emotional Arousal 193 Nonconformity 193 Breaking Group Consensus with Social Support 195 Breaking Group Consensus without Social Support 196 Absent Social Support 198 Criticisms and Suggestions 201 Uses of Social Evaluation Theory in Conformity 201 Implications of Conformity Research for Social Evaluation Theory 202 149 187 CONTENTS vii Conclusions References 205 206 9 SOCIAL COMPARISON, MODELING, AND PERSEVERANCE Seymour M. Berger Introduction 209 Some Relationships Between Modeling and Social Comparison Processes 210 Social Comparison as a Theory of Identification 212 Social Comparison and Imitation 212 Model-Observer Dissimilarity, Imitation, and Identification 215 Social Comparison and the Generality of Similarity Schema 216 An Experimental Test of Some Effects of Social and Nonsocial Comparisons on Observer Perseverance 220 Summary and Conclusions 232 References 232 10 SOCIAL COMPARISON OF ABILITIES: A SELFPRESENTATION APPROACH TO DECISION MAKING IN GROUPS Jerald Jellison and Robert Arkin Introduction 235 Self-Presentation 236 Compliance and Polarization 237 Surveillance 238 Recidivism 239 Power of the Group 241 Summary 242 Comparison of Major Explanations 242 Persuasive Arguments 242 Value Interpretations 244 Social Comparison of Abilities 246 Summary Overview 249 Implications for Social Comparison Theory Causal Mechanism 249 Comparison with Similar Others 251 Dimensions of Comparison 253 Concluding Comment 253 References 254 209 235 249 11 SOCIAL COMPARISON THEORY: AN ATTRIBUTIONAL APPROACH George R. Goethals and John M. Darley 259 Introduction 259 Festinger's Social Comparison Theory The Attributional Perspective 260 259 viii CONTENTS Kelly's Attribution Theory 261 Social Comparison and Attribution Theories 262 Social Comparison Theory: An Attributional Statement The Evaluation Drive 263 The Similarity Hypothesis 265 Self-Esteem and Social Comparison 274 References 277 263 12 EQUITY THEORY AND SOCIAL COMPARISON PROCESSES William Austin Introduction 279 Equity Theory 281 Definitions of Justice 281 Operationalizing Equity Judgments 283 Equity Research 284 Types of Equity Comparisons 288 Traditional Labels 288 Dimensions of Equity Comparisons 290 Choice of Comparison 295 The Problem 295 Solutions 296 Transrelational Equity Comparisons 297 Overview 297 Supporting Evidence 299 Summary 300 Conclusions 301 References 301 279 13 THE CONSTRUCT VALIDITY OF RELATIVE DEPRIVATION Thomas D. Cook, Faye Crosby, and Karen Hennigan Introduction 307 Explicating Relative Deprivation 308 Definitional Issues 308 Components of Relative Deprivation 310 Our Position 312 Differentiating Relative Deprivation from Cognate Constructs The Cognate Constructs and Theories 314 Elements that Differentiate 315 Literature Review 316 Introduction 316 Full Validation 316 Partial Validation 317 307 314 CONTENTS ix Implications and Conclusions 325 The Construct Validity of Egoistic Relative Deprivation 325 Implications for the Separate Components of Relative Deprivation 326 The Utility of Relative Deprivation and Research Needed to Demonstrate It 328 Why Evaluate Egoistic Relative Deprivation by Such High Standards? 329 References 330 14 COMMENTARY Ladd Wheeler and Miron Zuckerman Author Index 359 Subject Index 367 335

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