Social Comparison Theory

Social Comparison Theory

Social Comparison Theory


Institution Affiliation

Social Comparison Theory (SCT)

The paper will focus on social comparison theory. Leon Festinger pioneered the theory in 1954. It posits that human beings’ evaluation of their distinct opinion and abilities is dependent on their comparison with parallel others (Suls, Collins & Wheeler, 2019). This implies that individuals have an innate drive to gauge themselves, often by comparing them to others. According to Crosby and Hamilton (2017), SCT is closely allied to the Relative deprivation theory (RDT) initially proposed in 1fe949 by Samuel al. According to the theory, individuals’ sense of deprivation, as well as cognate feelings such as anger, frustration, and resentment, seldom rise as a result of ideal conditions but habitually arise because of individuals’ comparison to existent and imagined others. Besides the textbook, comprehensive information about the theory can be derived from Google Scholar, a platform that focuses on credible published scholarly articles.

I have commenced reviewing other scholarly peer-reviewed studies on the subject from various search engines. Considering the multiple sources, Festinger’s SCT, individuals who often compare themselves with those analogous to them characteristically generate accurate appraisals of their beliefs and competencies, thus resulting in uniformity burdens.

This theory will focus on social media use context, especially among young people. In contemporary times, young people are considered technologically suave hence their extensive use of social media in modern times. However, in the course of their social media use, young people tend to dedicate more time going through their peers’ profiles and pictures regularly reacting to them. This leads to a continuous comparison between them hence magnifying the effects of social comparison and its adverse impacts on teenagers’ well-being.

This theory is critical in developing my research study to establish the impacts of social comparisons among young people in modern-day. The above is premised on the fact that social media has amplified the norm of comparing oneself to others in the present day.

The study would thus adopt a qualitative research method to understand the prevalence of comparison among youths in social media. The study would equally focus on young people between the age of 16 and 22 who spend quite a significant amount of their time on different social networking sites. The data will be gathered through the interview and questionnaire survey methods of data collection.


Crosby, F., & Hamilton, V. (2017). Social Comparison Theory. The Wiley‐Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory, 1-2.

Suls, J., Collins, R. L., & Wheeler, L. (Eds.). (2019). Social Comparison, Judgment, and Behavior. Oxford University Press, USA.