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Social comparison: The end of a theory and the emergence of a field

Authors
Journal
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
0749-5978
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
102
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2006.09.007
Keywords
  • Social Comparison Theory
  • New Developments
  • Theory Evolution

Abstract

Abstract The past and current states of research on social comparison are reviewed with regard to a series of major theoretical developments that have occurred in the past 5 decades. These are, in chronological order: (1) classic social comparison theory, (2) fear-affiliation theory, (3) downward comparison theory, (4) social comparison as social cognition, and (5) individual differences in social comparison. In addition, we discuss a number of expansions of research on social comparison as they are currently occurring, and we outline what we see as likely and desirable future directions, including an expansion of areas, methods, and conceptualizations, as well as a stronger focus on cognitive, neuroscientific, and evolutionary aspects of social comparison.

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