Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Most Underappreciated50 Prominent Social Psychologists Describe Their Most Unloved Work$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Arkin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199778188.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 April 2021

Thirty Years of Contrast in Social Comparison

Thirty Years of Contrast in Social Comparison

(p.225) Thirty Years of Contrast in Social Comparison
Most Underappreciated

Ladd Wheeler

Oxford University Press

Ladd Wheeler reflects on his most underappreciated work: a study on social comparison theory. According to social comparison theory, people compare with those who are similar to them in order to evaluate themselves. In the case of abilities, there is a unidirectional drive upward; people want to be better than others, but not a lot better. Wheeler performed an experiment using the “rank-order paradigm” to test whether the unidirectional drive should always lead to upward comparison as opposed to downward comparison. He found that people use upward comparison to confirm that they are “almost as good as the very good ones”.

Keywords:   Ladd Wheeler, social comparison theory, rank-order paradigm, unidirectional drive, upward comparison, downward comparison

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .