Social comparison as a determinant of self-presentation

Demir, Sıla
As social beings people usually try to project the best image of themselves on their interaction partners. On other occasions, they try to create the image that they think will be advantageous for them in a certain way. These self-presentational efforts may be conscious or automatic, and may be triggered by some situational determinants and be associated with some personality characteristics. Besides, social comparison tendencies may also be associated with self-presentation. People often compare themselves, their abilities, opinions, appearance, accomplishments, and many others with that of the other people. The classical social comparison theory suggests that individuals compare themselves to only similar others, and the outcomes of these social comparisons lead people to either change themselves or the comparison target to reduce the discrepancy, or cease comparison. In the current thesis, first, the hypothesis that people only compare themselves with the similar others was challenged, and comparison with extremely-better and extremely-worse individuals was investigated. Secondly, the main hypothesis that social comparison may also result in pretending as if you are closer to the better-off others or more different than the worse-off others, but not only changing oneself or the comparison target was studied. Therefore, social comparison orientation should be associated with higher self-presentation tendency. Besides these two broad hypotheses, it was suggested that each comparison direction would lead to different self-presentational strategy, and this relationship would be moderated by the personality traits of honesty/humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness measured with HEXACO-PI-R, and the self-concept clarity of the individuals. Overall, the hypotheses were supported, except the moderation hypotheses, and the implications and future directions were discussed.
Citation Formats
S. Demir, “Social comparison as a determinant of self-presentation,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2017.