Discussion: Social Comparison
People tend to compare themselves to others to gauge their intelligence, attractiveness, and success. Problematically, those who need a self-esteem and self-confidence boost may try to gain it through a downward comparison. In other words, in order improve their self-esteem and self-confidence, they might compare themselves to less intelligent, attractive, or successful individuals to make them feel better about their relative social standing. Consider the pervasive media images of female or male physical perfection. Western culture often overemphasizes a woman’s (and, to a lesser degree, a man’s) physical attractiveness as a measure of her (or his) cultural value. That is, western culture often conflates physical attractiveness with inherent goodness—a woman (or in some cases, a man) who is not physically attractive is somehow less good.
For this Discussion, you will analyze the development of self-concept from the perspective of downward comparisons and idealized images.
- Review the Learning Resources for this week and consider how downward comparisons and idealized images of physical attractiveness impact the developing self-concept.
- Also, consider whether this impact would be different across race and ethnicity.
By Day 4
Post how downward comparisons and idealized images of physical attractiveness impact the developing self-concept. Would this impact be the same across race and ethnicity? Support your post with references to social psychology theory and research.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two colleagues and explain how you might mitigate or resist the deleterious impact of social comparison as discussed by your colleagues. Support your response with references to social psychology theory and research.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the social psychology theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or Internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your post and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.
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