Research output: Scientific › Doctoral Thesis

The results showed that the Spanish compared themselves more often upward than the Dutch, that workers in private organizations compared themselves more often downward and upward than workers from public organizations, that Spanish women compared themselves upward more often than men, and that Dutch men compared themselves upward more often than women.

In this chapter, the data were analyzed by employing structural equation modeling.

Since Festinger (1954) postulated his assumptions on social comparison, extensive research has focused on understanding and explaining the social comparison process.

Research output: Scientific › PhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VU

In addition, there was a relationship between social comparison responses and organization commitment and identification.

Finally, the results evidenced that women in private organizations compared themselves more often with men than women in public organizations, and that Spanish women compared themselves more often with men than Dutch women.

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Finally, the results revealed that upward contrast was a mediator between prevention goal orientation and self-efficacy, and next, that self-efficacy was positively related to academic performance.

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These findings support the idea that goal prevention orientation may directly influence self-efficacy perceptions, and also indirectly through an upward contrast process, and next this may undermine academic performance.

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The purpose of this dissertation was twofold: 1) to deepen our understanding of the relationship between social comparison from an identification-contrast perspective and specific psychological processes in the academic and work areas; and 2) to contribute to the literature exploring cultural differences in the identification and contrast processes, and expanding not only cultural, but also context and gender differences in basic aspects of social comparison including direction, dimensions and target choice of comparison.

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In addition, in line with the identification-contrast model, we assume that upward as well as downward comparisons may be interpreted in a positive or negative way, depending on whether an individual contrasts or identifies oneself with the comparison target.

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After discussing the major weaknesses and strengths of the present dissertation, we conclude that we have shown how the positive and negative responses derived from identification and contrast are related to functional processes as self-efficacy, coping, organizational commitment and identification; and to dysfunctional processes as burnout.

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The central aim of this thesis was to show that group members can form a common identity based on the very fact that they agree and expect to differ from each other.