The proxy model of social comparison for self-assessment of ability

Ladd Wheeler, René Martin*, Jerry Suls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


One purpose of the social comparison of abilities is to determine action possibilities- "Can I do X?" By comparing ourselves with a proxy who has attempted X, we can determine our likelihood of success. A good proxy is one who has performed the same as us on an initial task requiring the ability. In addition, however, a good proxy must be similar on related attributes so that we can be confident that the proxy's performance on the initial task was maximal. In the case of a task requiring multiple abilities, more than one proxy may be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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