In this study (N = 96), the role of social comparison in evaluating the quality of one's friendships and social relationships was examined. Participants who were exposed to a comparison target with a very dissatisfying social life evaluated their own social life as better than participants who were exposed to a comparison target with a very satisfying social life. However, this effect was only found among individuals high in the individual characteristic social comparison orientation. It is concluded that only individuals with a dispositional tendency to compare themselves with others will base the evaluation of their social life to an important extent on what they see in others.
- close relationships
- downward comparison
- social comparison orientation
- social relationships
- upward comparison