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Social Comparison, Judgment, and Behavior$
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Jerry Suls, Rebecca L. Collins, and Ladd Wheeler

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190629113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190629113.001.0001

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Effects of Local and General Comparisons on Self-Assessment

Effects of Local and General Comparisons on Self-Assessment

Chapter:
(p.143) 6 Effects of Local and General Comparisons on Self-Assessment
Source:
Social Comparison, Judgment, and Behavior
Author(s):

Ethan Zell

Mark D. Alicke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190629113.003.0006

Local comparisons involve thinking about the self in relation to one or a few people, such as friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers. Conversely, general comparisons involve thinking about the self in relation to larger samples, such as the average person in one’s profession or country. This chapter first describes a program of research that examined the simultaneous effects of local and general comparisons on self-evaluations. Results show that local comparisons often dominate and displace the effects of general comparisons. Next, it discusses potential moderators of this “local dominance effect” including self-enhancement motives, the physical salience of local group members, and collective self-esteem. Finally, the chapter calls for future research that explores the implications of local dominance for motivational and behavioral outcomes as well as mental and physical health.

Keywords:   social comparison, self-evaluation, local dominance effect, big fish, little pond

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