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ERIC Number: EJ829241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
On the Benefit of Dimensional Comparisons
Pohlmann, Britta; Moller, Jens
Journal of Educational Psychology, v101 n1 p248-258 Feb 2009
People not only use social comparisons to evaluate their abilities, they also engage in dimensional comparisons, comparing their own achievement in different domains. Processes of dimensional comparison have contrasting effects on subject-specific self-concepts: downward dimensional comparisons result in higher self-concept in the intraindividually better domain, whereas upward dimensional comparisons result in lower self-concept in the intraindividually weaker domain. Two field studies and 1 experimental study were conducted to investigate whether the effects of downward or upward dimensional comparisons are stronger. In Study 1 (N = 319), downward dimensional comparisons proved to be stronger than upward dimensional comparisons. In Study 2 (N = 1349), the same pattern was found with reading test scores as well as grades as achievement indicators. In Study 3 (N = 81), the authors found larger effects for downward than for upward comparisons in both self-perceived competence and satisfaction with test outcomes in an experimental setting. (Contains 1 figure and 6 tables.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany