درخواست مقایسه نامطلوب اجتماعی: اثر انتقاد از خود
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|36942||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 40, Issue 3, February 2006, Pages 545–556
Abstract Despite the large number of studies investigating the link between depression and social comparison, little research has examined how depressive vulnerability factors, such as dependency and self-criticism, influence social comparison behavior. Participants in this study (N = 102) were able to solicit social comparison feedback, which was favourable, unfavourable or ambiguous, after completing an ego-involving reaction time search task. Results showed that individuals high on self-criticism continued to make social comparisons more than individuals low on self-criticism, but only when comparisons were unfavourable, which diminished performance satisfaction ratings. Results provide some understanding of how self-critical individuals may actively contribute to situations that maintain their self-critical beliefs and how vulnerability factors can influence the kinds of behavioral strategies individuals adopt to deal with threats to self-worth.
. Introduction According to social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954), there exists in each of us a drive to evaluate ourselves, particularly when performance is ambiguous. Studies examining the antecedents and consequences of social comparison are numerous and several reviews have appeared (Exline and Lobel, 1999, Taylor and Lobel, 1989, Wills, 1981, Wood, 1989 and Wood, 1996). Theorists have argued that unfavourable social comparison can dispose individuals to depressed moods, which may ultimately lead to depressive episodes (Ahrens and Alloy, 1997, Swallow and Kuiper, 1993 and Weary et al., 1987). Although some research has examined the link between depression and social comparison (Alloy et al., 1987 and Swallow and Kuiper, 1993), few studies have examined the extent to which vulnerability factors, like dependency or self-criticism, can influence the extent to which we seek out or avoid potentially harmful comparisons (Buss, 1987 and Giordana et al., 2000). There are good theoretical and empirical reasons for investigating the impact of individual differences variables, such as self-criticism, on social comparison behavior. Self-critical individuals are characterized by feelings of unworthiness, inferiority, and harsh self-scrutiny. They are believed to have a chronic fear of disapproval and criticism from others along with a fear of losing the approval or acceptance of significant others (Blatt et al., 1982 and Blatt and Schichman, 1983). Self-criticism belongs to a group of related personality variables believed to dispose individuals to depressive cognitions (Blatt et al., 1982, Nietzel and Harris, 1990 and Zuroff and Mongrain, 1987), which have also been linked to depressive cognitions (Ahrens and Alloy, 1997, Alloy et al., 1987, Swallow and Kuiper, 1993 and Weary et al., 1987). Recent research has also shown that depressive vulnerability factors, such as self-criticism, can exert considerable influence over the manner in which individuals respond to events that threaten self-worth. Evidence suggests that self-critical women will contest threats to status, withhold praise from friends who challenged them, and will not minimize disagreement with disagreeing friends (Santor et al., 2000, Santor and Zuroff, 1997 and Santor and Zuroff, 1998). In this regard, self-critical individuals may attempt to protect themselves when self-worth was threatened by retaliating against their friends and partners (Santor et al., 2000, Santor and Zuroff, 1997 and Santor and Zuroff, 1998). It is not clear from these studies whether self-critical individuals would also protect themselves by avoiding unfavourable feedback, or whether self-critical individuals, when faced with unfavourable feedback, would continue to solicit unfavourable feedback. 1.1. Social comparison research Previous research examining depressed mood and social comparison has suggested that individuals with negative self-views tend to act in ways which elicit unfavourable or negative feedback (Swann and Read, 1981 and Swann et al., 1992). In a study by Swann and his associates (Swann et al., 1992, Study 4), individuals with positive or negative self-concepts were provided either favourable or unfavourable performance feedback on a speech they delivered. Participants were then given the opportunity to solicit either unfavourable or favourable feedback. Results showed that participants with negative self-concepts solicited feedback on topics that highlighted the negative aspects of themselves (e.g., “Why this person would have trouble getting along with others”, p. 300) more often than they solicited feedback on topics concerning the positive aspects of themselves (e.g., “Why this person would be fun to be with”, p. 300). On the basis of this and other research, Swann has argued that people with negative self-views (i.e., those who are dysphoric or have low self-worth) are motivated to confirm their negative self-views. In this regard, social interactions are opportunities for individuals with a negative self-view to verify and confirm their negative self-concepts. Swallow and Kuiper (1992) showed that mildly depressed individuals engaged in social comparison more frequently than nondepressed participants, but only when they believed they had performed poorly. In their study, participants were lead to believe they could compare their performance to others who had already completed the study. However, no explicit performance feedback was provided. Results of the study showed that nondysphoric depressed persons who performed poorly compared themselves less frequently, whereas dysphoric persons who performed poorly made more social comparisons. No difference between the groups emerged when participants performed well. Much of the existing work on social comparison research has demonstrated the importance of person and situation variables in observing social comparison behavior. However, there are a number of issues that have not been examined in these studies, which the current experiment was designed to address. First, Swallow and Kuiper (1992) attributed the finding that mildly depressed individuals compared themselves more frequently than nondepressed individuals to the higher performance standards that distressed people typically set for themselves. However, they did not examine this individual difference variable explicitly. Demonstrating that potentially harmful social comparison processes can be linked to depressive vulnerability factors is important for understanding the different ways in which vulnerability factors, like self-criticism, can influence both mood and behavior. Second, participants in the Swann et al. (1992) study were allowed to solicit feedback about their performance only once. Accordingly, it is unclear to what extent individuals would persist in soliciting favourable or unfavourable feedback about themselves. 1.2. Study overview We examined the extent to which individuals solicited comparison feedback for their performance on an ego-involving visual search task. Participants in the study were not given feedback concerning their global standing relative to other individuals in the study before being allowed to make individual comparisons with other participants in the study. However, we did manipulate whether the comparison feedback participants received was favourable, unfavourable or ambiguous. According to Festinger’s (1954) original statement on social comparison, social comparison behavior should be most frequent when individuals are uncertain about their performance, abilities, or opinions. However, once performance feedback has been given, it is unclear how long individuals will continue to compare themselves with others, particularly when comparisons are unfavourable. Consistent with Festinger’s (1954) original formulation, it is under conditions in which performance is ambiguous or individuals are uncertain of their performance that the need to compare one’s self to others is greatest. In contrast, self-verification theory predicts that individuals with negative self-views, such as those high on self-criticism, should elicit comparison feedback most frequently when feedback is consistent with their negative self-view. Accordingly, social comparison feedback should be higher in individuals high on self-criticism relative to individuals low on self-criticism, but only when feedback is unfavourable (Hypothesis 1). In order to examine the extent to which these effects were specific to self-criticism, we also examined the extent to which the frequency of social comparison could also be predicted by other depressive vulnerability factors such as dependency (Blatt & Zuroff, 1992, p. 528). Although depressive vulnerability factors, such as dependency and self-criticism, have both been related to sad mood, it was predicted that effects of receiving unfavourable feedback on the frequency of social comparison behavior would be specific to self-criticism. Given that all of the participants in the present study were (bogus) strangers, individuals high on dependency would not be motivated to foster interpersonal relatedness by either soliciting or avoiding social comparison behavior. Accordingly, it was hypothesized that dependency would be unrelated to the frequency of social comparisons made (Hypothesis 2). Finally, critics have questioned the extent to which depressive vulnerability factors and their effects are independent of depressed moods (see Coyne & Whiffen, 1995, as well as Zuroff, Mongrain, & Santor, 2004). As in previous studies, (Santor et al., 2000, Santor and Zuroff, 1997 and Santor and Zuroff, 1998), we examined the extent to which effects for self-criticism would persist even after accounting for levels of sad mood (Hypothesis 3).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6. Conclusion The manner in which we compare ourselves with others is dependent upon a number of factors, including both individual and situational differences. Results of the present study show that individuals high in self-criticism will elicit and continue to elicit social comparisons that are unfavourable. Results suggest one mechanism through which the negative self-concepts of self-critics may be maintained. Through continual unfavourable comparisons with others, self-critical individuals way reinforce and sustain their own negative self-concepts.