Social comparison theory is a set of hypotheses, postulates, and corollaries aimed at explaining the process in which people evaluate their standing relative to others. Such evaluations of one’s relative standing can occur on a multitude of dimensions, including one’s opinions, abilities, emotions, and outcomes. Findings from various areas of research suggest that the ultimate goal of social comparisons is to acquire unique information about the self in the social world. However, scholars continue to search for answers to fundamental questions about social comparisons, such as the exact reasons why people make social comparisons, whom they compare themselves with, and the outcomes of those comparisons.

An important tenet of the theory is that social comparisons do not occur in a vacuum, but are the result of ...

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