General Meeting of the European Association of Experimental Social Psychology edition:13 location:San Sebastian date:26-29 June 2002
People’s responses to another individual engaging in overt
downward comparison were examined. Participants were confronted with various types of comparative and non-comparative self-descriptions and were asked to describe
the person who had provided them along with his or her
self-view and his or her view upon others. Participants
responded more negatively to a peer describing him- or herself as superior to others than to a peer engaging in a non-comparative positive self-description, a positive self-description implying self-other similarity, or a self-description implying other people’s superiority. They also responded more favorably to positively rather than negatively framed upward and downward comparisons. The main determinant of responses to other people’s comparative self-descriptions seems to be the positivity of the view upon others that they imply. Implications for the consequences of openly shown positive self-views are discussed.