One is the ambiguity of the word "average". It is logically possible for nearly all of the set to be above the mean if the distribution of abilities is highly skewed.
Self-improvement Upward and downward social comparisons[ edit ] Wills introduced the concept of downward comparison in When a person looks to another individual or group that they consider to be worse off than themselves in order to feel better about their self Compare contrast and evaluate the sociological personal situation, they are making a downward social comparison.
Research has suggested that social comparisons with others who are better off or superior, or upward comparisons, can lower self-regard,  whereas downward comparisons can elevate self-regard. Upward social comparisons are made to self-evaluate and self-improve in the hopes that self-enhancement will also occur.
In an upward social comparison, people want to believe themselves to be part of the elite or superior, and make comparisons highlighting the similarities between themselves and the comparison group, unlike a downward social comparison, where similarities between individuals or groups are disassociated.
In simple terms, downward social comparisons are more likely to make us feel better about ourselves, while upward social comparisons are more likely to motivate us to achieve more or reach higher.
Moderators of social comparison[ edit ] Aspinwall and Taylor looked at mood, self-esteem, and threat as moderators that drive individuals to choose to make upward or downward social comparisons.
High self-esteem and social comparison[ edit ] Aspinwall and Taylor found that upward social comparisons were good in circumstances where the individuals making the comparisons had high self-esteem, because these types of comparisons provided them with more motivation and hope than downward social comparisons.
Low self-esteem and social comparison[ edit ] However, people with low self-esteem or people who are experiencing some sort of threat in their life such as doing poorly in school, or suffering from an illness tend to favor downward comparisons over upward comparisons.
People with low self-esteem and negative affect improve their mood by making downward comparisons.
Their mood does not improve as much as it would if they had high self-esteem. Even for people with low self-esteem, these downward social comparisons do improve their negative mood and allow them to feel hope and motivation for their future. In addition, both individuals with high self-esteem and low self-esteem who are in a positive mood elevate their mood further by making upward comparisons.
However, for those who have recently experienced a threat to their self-esteem or a setback in their life, making upward social comparisons instead of downward social comparisons results in a more negative affect. Self-esteem and existence of a threat or setback in an individual's life are two moderators of their response to upward or downward comparisons.
Competitiveness[ edit ] Because individuals are driven upwards in the case of abilities, social comparisons can drive competition among peers. Social status[ edit ] Competitiveness resulting from social comparisons may be greater in relation to higher social status because individuals with more status have more to lose.
In one study, students in a classroom were presented with a bonus point program where, based on chance, the grades for some students would increase and the grades for others would remain the same. Despite the fact that students could not lose by this program, higher-status individuals were more likely to object to the program, and more likely to report a perceived distributive injustice.
It was suggested that this was a cognitive manifestation of an aversion to downward mobilitywhich has more psychological significance when an individual has more status.
When the only meaningful standard is the top, then high-ranking individuals are most competitive with their peers, and individuals at low and intermediate ranks are equally competitive. However, when both high and low rankings hold significance, then individuals at high and low ranks are equally competitive, and are both more competitive than individuals at intermediate ranks.
A self-evaluation maintenance SEM model of social behavior focuses on the consequences of another person's outstanding performance on one's own self-evaluation. It sketches out some conditions under which the other's good performance bolsters self-evaluation, i.
The model proposes that if a person is successful or familiar with a task, then he or she would also be successful at a new similar task. The proxy is evaluated based on ability and is concerned with the question "Can I do X?
The opinion of the comparer and whether the proxy exerted maximum effort on a preliminary task are variables influencing his or her opinion. In the Triadic Model the most meaningful comparisons are with a person who has already experienced a proxy and exhibits consistency in related attributes or past preferences.‘Marx believed that our society was in a state of continual conflict between the working class and upper class; evaluate the Marxist theory of social class using Functionalism and Postmodernism theories of class’.
Compare and contrast Marxist and functionalist explanations of class and. Combining principles of individual rational choice with a sociological conception of collective action, James Coleman recasts social theory in a bold new way.
This course focuses on the differences and similarities among cultures with respect to human care, health, and illness and how these considerations apply to real-world nursing practices.
One way to compare and contrast high school life and college life is student population. The population in college far exceeds high school enrollment.
In high school the average number of students is seven hundred fifty and in college the average number of students is approximately seven thousand. Ethical Relativism and Cultural Relativism - In explaining Cultural Relativism, it is useful to compare and contrast it with Ethical Relativism.
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