When I was recently reading the Psychology textbook, I came across a very interesting topic in chapter 13, which was on Social Psychology. On page 496, I came across the "social comparison theory," where we evaluate our abilities and beliefs by comparing them with those of others.
According to the book, doing this allows us to understand ourselves and our social worlds better. For example, they note how if you want to find out how good you are at psychology, it is only natural to compare yourself to other psychology students around you.
There are two different forms of social comparison. In "upward social comparison," we tend to compare ourselves with people who seem superior to us in some way, like a new football player who compares himself to the best player on the team.
Opposite to this is downward social comparison, where we compare ourselves with others who seem inferior to us in some way, like that new football player comparing himself to a younger football player.
Both upward and downward social comparison sometimes boost our self-concepts.
I found this section to be so interesting, because I am guilty of both modes of social comparison. I especially use downward social comparison in sports, where I frequently think to myself "this guy is clumsier than I am, there is no way I will lose." And I know for a fact that I use upward social comparison in Academics, "if that person can get an A, I can too." Using upward social comparison is what kind of drives me academically. When I see a friend that consistently gets good grades, I want to get on their level and throw an A back at them, so I tell myself that I can do just as good as they did.
Anyway, that's my last blog for the year, hope some of you find it interesting, and make sure to tell me what kind of social comparisons you take part in. Good luck on the final everybody!