Does social comparison make a difference? Optimism as a moderator of the relation between comparison level and academic performance

F.X Gibbons, H Blanton, M Gerrard, Abraham (Bram) Buunk, T Eggleston

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

54 Citaten (Scopus)

Samenvatting

Previous research has demonstrated that poor academic performance is associated with a downward shift in preferred level of academic comparison level (ACL). The current study assessed the long-term impact of this downward shift on the academic performance of college students and also examined the extent to which optimism moderated the relation between ACL and performance. Results indicated that a decline in academic performance led to a decline in preferred ACL, but only among students who were low in dispositional optimism. Change in ACL in turn, was prospectively linked (positively) with change in academic performance for low optimists and marginally for high optimists. Additional analyses suggested this relation was mediated by performance expectations. Finally, change in ACL was also indirectly linked with depression for low optimists. Thus, low optimists who raised their ACLs had higher subsequent grade point averages and experienced a decrease in depression. The relations between levels of preferred comparison and outcome, and possible mediators of these relations, are discussed.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)637-648
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Volume26
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
DOI's
StatusPublished - mei-2000

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