Frequent social comparisons and destructive emotions and behaviors: The dark side of social comparisons

Judith B. White, Ellen J. Langer, Leeat Yariv, John C. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social comparisons may seem to serve several positive functions, including self-enhancement. Frequent social comparisons, however, have a dark side. Two studies examined the relationship between frequent social comparisons and destructive emotions and behaviors. In Study 1, people who said they made frequent social comparisons were more likely to experience envy, guilt, regret, and defensiveness, and to lie, blame others, and to have unmet cravings. In Study 2, police officers who said they made frequent social comparisons were more likely to show ingroup bias and to be less satisfied with their jobs. The dark side of frequent social comparisons was not associated with self-esteem. Results are discussed in terms of the role of individual differences in social comparison processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adult Development
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Frequent social comparisons and destructive emotions and behaviors: The dark side of social comparisons'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this