social comparison theory and me

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Social comparison theory was derived because humans are highly social species. The theory is that we seek to evaluate our abilities by comparing them with those of others. This behavior helps us to understand ourselves better. Social comparison happens in two different ways. First, upward social comparison is that we compare ourselves with people who do something better than us. Second, downward social comparison is that we compare ourselves with people who do something worse than us. Both can boost our self-concepts.

This really happens in our lives. In my experience, I was always curious to know my rank in my class after every exam when I was in high school. I don't really care my exam score itself and how I feel about it without any comparison, because the only important thing to me at that time was how much I did well compared to others. Also, in fact, I want to know whether my friends and others perform well or not, and how much they perform well. I think this is caused by social comparison theory which is fairly pervasive throughout many people. If I could know how others perform, then I could feel better because I find that I do better than others, and sometimes I could realize that I have to do better and cheer up. Also, by knowing someone who performs similar to me, I could be relieved and feel comfortable because I know there are people who do similar to me.

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For science in ninth grade, I had a couple friends in my class. We would normally do above average on the quizzes and assignments, depending on how much effort we put in. So we would compare amongst ourselves. I sat next to an incredibly smart guy in it and he would always get better than me. But I would still ask what his score was because I thought, "maybe this time I beat him." I believe there was one quiz where I got a better score, but I was really only lucky.

When I was taking classes at my high school I was usually in Honors or AP classes. All of my peers in these classes knew each other well because we were all in the same AP classes. Naturally we would always compare ourselves to one another. I think the Social Comparison Theory was really implemented in our situation, and it seemed to better ourselves in our studies because we were all constantly competing with one another to be at the top.

I am the same way as you are with wanting to know where your rank was in your class. I always needed to know who did worse than me and who did better. And like you said, you always felt more comfortable when people did the same as you. Interesting post!

This section can be a good and bad thing. We learn about what we do already which may be obvious but competition can be a good thing. It makes us strive to be better, although that can be bad, it is a good thing because it proves evolution where mostly the strongest and best survive.

When comparing ourselves with people who do something worse than us we start feeling more confident and strive to be better than the others in all aspects of our lives. We evaluate our abilities by comparing them with those of other people because we live in a society and we cannot live as separate individuals.

Reviews Removals

We learn about what we do already which may be obvious but competition can be a good thing. It makes us strive to be better, which is the essence of our existence.

Maria

If comparing makes you develop and get better in something, it should be encouraged. But do not compare and look like those who are accepted if that is against your nature.

Joana

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This page contains a single entry by kangx488 published on April 29, 2012 11:37 PM.

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