Assimilation in social comparison

Can we agree on what it is?

Ladd Wheeler*, Jerry Suls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Upward assimilation in social comparison should be defined as "an increase in the comparer's self-evaluation on a dimension as a result of comparing with someone better on that dimension." Current research does not always hew to this definition, confuses reflection in the Self Evaluation Maintenance model (Tesser, 1988) with assimilation, uses dependent variables other than self-evaluation, and frequently lacks adequate control conditions to understand where the action is. As a result, progress is not as great as it could be. We make suggestions for bringing more order to this relatively new and terribly important topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-51
Number of pages21
JournalRevue Internationale de Psychologie Sociale
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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