A Theory of Social Comparison Processes

  title={A Theory of Social Comparison Processes},
  author={Leon Festinger},
  journal={Human Relations},
  pages={117 - 140}
Hypothesis I: There exists, in the human organism, a drive to evaluate his opinions and his abilities. While opinions and abilities may, at first glance, seem to be quite different things, there is a close functional tie between them. They act together in the manner in which they affect behavior. A person’s cognition (his opinions and beliefs) about the situation in which he exists and his appraisals of what he is capable of doing (his evaluation of his abilities) will together have bearing on… 
The effects of self-esteem and situation upon comparison choices during ability evaluation.
Earlier experiments (see Wheeler et al., 1969) showed that when a person has a vague idea that he is somewhere in the middle of the group with respect to an ability, he will choose the person ranking
From Level of Aspiration to Cognitive Dissonance, or, What the Middle Class Worries About
Social psychological theory has to a large extent been the psycho logy of the 'social' and not the sociological explaination of psycho logical phenomena and processes. In this article we attempt an
Toward a Unified System of Social and Personal Motivation
sis with respect to social motivation. Weiner begins with the thesis that people search for order in social motivation. He articulates a system of how order is sought and some of its features as it
Private and Public Experiences and the Self
A concern about the relationship of private and public events has been a central one for social psychology. One of the earliest experiments in social psychology affirmed that the performance of
Social Comparison: Why, With Whom, and With What Effect?
Social comparison consists of comparing oneself with others in order to evaluate or to enhance some aspects of the self. Evaluation of ability is concerned with the question “Can I do X?” and relies
Self- and interpersonal evaluations: esteem theories versus consistency theories.
  • S. Jones
  • Psychology
    Psychological bulletin
  • 1973
It is observed that cognitive consistency theories may be somewhat overworked as explanatory frameworks for the study of social evaluations and that people typically talk more during social evaluations.
Social Judgment as Implicit Social Comparison
At first blush, this chapter will appear to be in the wrong book. The volume focuses on what theorists and researchers know and sometimes suspect about social comparison processes. By definition,
Exploring the implications of construal level for social comparison theory
This dissertation examines the relationship between two social psychological theories: Social Comparison Theory (Festinger, 1954) and Construal Level Theory (Liberman & Trope, 1998). More
Expectancy confirmation processes arising in the social interaction sequence.
Psychologists have begun to use Merton's concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy to explain a wide variety of social phenomena and problems. The present article further develops the theory behind
Among the Better Ones
Since the first empirical tests of Festinger’s (1954) social comparison theory, theorists have been concerned with the “direction” of comparisons: whether people compare with persons superior or


Informal social communication.
Influence through social communication.
  • K. Back
  • Psychology
    Journal of abnormal psychology
  • 1951
Results indicate that an increase in cohesiveness, independent of its nature, will produce greater effort to reach an agreement.
Interpersonal communication in small groups.
An experimental study in which amount of pressure toward uniformity and degree to which members perceived the group as homogeneously composed was manipulated was manipulated.
Tendencies Toward Comparability in Competitive Bargaining
  • Human Relations
  • 1954
Behavior in a Level of Aspiration Situation as Affected by Group Comparison
  • Behavior in a Level of Aspiration Situation as Affected by Group Comparison
  • 1953
The Influence Process in the Presence of Extreme Deviates
Self-Evaluation as a Function of Attraction to the Group