alexa A theory of social comparison processes
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Festinger L

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In this paper we shall present a further development of a previously pub-lished theory concerning opinion influence processo in social groups (7). This further development has enabled us to mend the theory to deal with other axe. in addition to opinion formaaon,. which social comparison is important Specifically, we shall develop below how the theory applies to the appraisal and evaluation of abilitieswetl as opinions. Such theories and hypotheses in theas area of social psychology are fre-quently viewed in arms of how "plausible" thry seem. "Plausibility" usually moans whether or not the theory or hypotheses fits one's intuition or one's common sense. In this meaning much of the theory which is to be presented here is not " plausible ". The theory does, however, explain a con-siderable amount of data and leads so &table derivaticos. Three expeiments, specifically designed to test predictions from this extension of the theory, have now been completed (d. ra, lb). They all provide good corroboration. We will in the following pages develop the theory and present the relevant Hypothesis k There exists, in the human organism, a drive to evaluate his opinions and his abilities. While opinions and abilities may, at firn glance, seem to be quite different things, there is a close funmional tie between them. They act vagether in the and in which they affect behav 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 bear-thg on his behavior.

This article was published in Human Relations and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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