The relationship between social comparison processes and personality

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The relationship between social comparison processes and personality was examined in a sample of cancer patients (Study 1) and in a random population sample (Study 2). Previous studies showed that the need for comparison, its affective consequences and the tendency to make self-enhancing comparisons may be affected by individual difference variables such as Type-A behavior, self-esteem and chronic depression. The current study focused on Eysenck's (The Structure of Human Personality 1970) personality dimensions (neuroticism, extraversion and psychoticism). The relationship between personality and social comparison processes was not very high. Individuals high on neuroticism displayed a higher need for comparison, engaged more often in upward comparison, and reported more negative affective consequences of both upward and downward comparisons. Surprisingly, extraverts were more inclined to compare downwardly than introverts. No consistent relationships between psychoticism and social comparison processes were found. Social desirability only affected the expressed need for comparison and, among patients, the perception of how well one was doing compared to others. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.




VanderZee, K., Buunk, B., & Sanderman, R. (1996). The relationship between social comparison processes and personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 20(5), 551–565.

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