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Communal Functions of Social Comparison


Zlatan Križan, Frederick X. Gibbons, Kenneth D. Locke, Jan E. Stets, Peter J. Burke, Richard H. Smith, Anne L. Zell, Julie Juola Exline, Penelope Lockwood, Rebecca T. Pinkus, Michael A. Hogg, Amber M. Gaffney, Hart Blanton, Melissa Burkley, Edward Burkley, Serge Guimond, Armand Chatard, Joni Y. Sasaki, Deborah M. Ko, Heejung S. Kim
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  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108701358

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About the Authors
  • The extent to which we see ourselves as similar or different from others in our lives plays a key role in getting along and participating in social life. This volume identifies research relevant to such communal functions of social comparisons and summarizes and organizes this research within a single, coherent conceptual framework. The volume provides an important addition to current thinking about social comparison, which has often neglected communal and affiliative functions. Whereas human desire to compare with others has traditionally been viewed as motivated by self-centered needs such as self-evaluation, self-enhancement, and self-improvement, this book presents an eclectic cross-section of research that illuminates connective, cooperative, and participatory functions of social comparisons. In this vein, the book aims both to expose research on currently neglected functions of social comparisons and to motivate a broader theoretical integration of social comparison processes.

    • Contains a useful mix of basic theory and application
    • Presents on comparison theory as a source of identifying commonalities rather than distinctions
    • Focuses on the collective, interpersonal nature and function of comparison
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a nice and well-chosen collection of readings on a topic that is long overdue - the implications that social comparisons may have for our relationships with others and for society. It is often assumed that social comparisons are something to be avoided but this book highlights how social life is impossible without social comparisons, and emphasizes that social comparisons may even be beneficial for social relationships and the community.' Abraham Buunk, Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and University of Groningen

    'This book takes a distinguished line of research in a new direction, emphasizing how social comparisons affect the group as well as the individual. Križan and Gibbons have done a good job of organizing the volume: it provides a multifaceted view of social comparison, showing how social comparisons can lead to disparities and group tensions but may also enhance bonding between individuals and groups. Communal Functions of Social Comparison should be read by clinical psychologists, social psychologists, and anyone whose work involves group processes. Both graduate students and seasoned researchers will find this book a rich source of ideas.' Thomas A. Wills, University of Hawaii Cancer Center

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108701358
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 151 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Communion in social comparison - back to the roots Zlatan Križan and Frederick X. Gibbons
    Part I. Core Considerations:
    1. Agency and communion in social comparisons Kenneth D. Locke
    2. Social comparison in identity theory Jan E. Stets and Peter J. Burke
    3. When comparisons divide: invidious emotions and their social control Zlatan Križan and Richard H. Smith
    Part II. Individual Level:
    4. Sparing others through social comparison Anne L. Zell and Julie Juola Exline
    5. Social comparisons within romantic relationships Penelope Lockwood and Rebecca T. Pinkus
    Part III. Group Level:
    6. Prototype-based social comparison within groups: constructing social identity to reduce self-uncertainty Michael A. Hogg and Amber M. Gaffney
    7. Bonding, hiding and promoting: three reactions to shared threat Hart Blanton, Melissa Burkley and Edward Burkley
    Part IV. Sociocultural Level:
    8. Basic principles of social comparison: does gender matter? Serge Guimond and Armand Chatard
    9. Culture and self-worth: implications for social comparison processes and coping with threats to self-worth Joni Y. Sasaki, Deborah M. Ko and Heejung S. Kim.

  • Editors

    Zlatan Križan, Iowa State University
    Zlatan Križan is Associate Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, where he directs the Self and Social Perception Laboratory and conducts work on basic motivational, emotional and personality processes. He completed his doctoral work in personality and social psychology at the University of Iowa in 2007.

    Frederick X. Gibbons, University of Connecticut
    Frederick X. Gibbons is Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut and Research Affiliate at the Center for Health Intervention and Prevention. He previously served on the faculties of Dartmouth College and Iowa State University, where he was Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Dr Gibbons is a health-social psychologist, whose research focuses on psychosocial factors related to health status and health behavior.


    Zlatan Križan, Frederick X. Gibbons, Kenneth D. Locke, Jan E. Stets, Peter J. Burke, Richard H. Smith, Anne L. Zell, Julie Juola Exline, Penelope Lockwood, Rebecca T. Pinkus, Michael A. Hogg, Amber M. Gaffney, Hart Blanton, Melissa Burkley, Edward Burkley, Serge Guimond, Armand Chatard, Joni Y. Sasaki, Deborah M. Ko, Heejung S. Kim

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