Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Social Comparison Theory
My PhD will involve, i think, the study of Leon Festinger's lesser known theory, Social Comparison Theory. Festinger is most famous for Cognitive Dissonance Theory, but Social Comparison Theory was another theory developed by Festinger. Originated in 1954 and then left alone by Festinger, others have developed the theory in their own image. Buunk and Gibbons (2007) reviewed the current research on social comparison theory and do a good job of contextualising it. The are few resources on SCT although it is still an active area of research. The best source I have come across is this book, Suls, J., & Wheeler, L. (2000). Handbook of social comparison: Theory and research: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers New York, NY: It is quite hard to find but well worth the effort it summaries almost all of the research in the field up to 2000. Please contact me if you find any useful resources related to SCT.
Suls, J., & Wheeler, L. (2000). Handbook of social comparison: Theory and research: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers New York, NY:
L. Festinger,L (1954). A theory of social comparison processes, Human Relations 1, 117–140
Buunk, A & Gibbons, F (2007). Social comparison: The end of a theory and the emergence of a field, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 102, 3–22.
Taylor, S., & Lobel, M. (1989). Social comparison activity under threat: Downward evaluation and upward contacts. Psychological Review, 96(4), 569-575.
Kruglanski, A., & Mayseless, O. (1990). Classic and current social comparison research: Expanding the perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 108(2), 195-208.
Buunk, B., & Mussweiler, T. (2001). New directions in social comparison research. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31(5), 467-475.