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Social comparison, social attractiveness and evolution: how might they be related?


Gilbert, P and Price, JS and Allan, S, Social comparison, social attractiveness and evolution: how might they be related?, New Ideas in Psychology: International Journal of Innovative Theory in Psychology, 13, (2) pp. 149-165. ISSN 0732-118X (1995) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/0732-118X(95)00002-X


Social comparison occurs in many forms of interaction. Despite a voluminous literature, the link between human and non-human forms of social comparison has rarely been made or explored. In this paper we consider the evolution of the competency to socially compare self with others and point to its long phylogenetic history. Special regard is given to intrasexual selection, competition for parental investment, and reciprocal exchange. The evolved competency to socially compare has been important in two separate and mutually incompatible forms of social competition, based on displays of either intimidation or attractiveness. This has resulted in two self-concepts which have been called resource-holding potential (RHP) and social attention-holding power (SAHP). These primitive self-concepts derived from social competition may have been stages on the phylogenetic pathway to human self-esteem. It is suggested that an evolutionary approach adds a new dimension to current theories of social comparison. © 1995.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Price, JS ( Price)
ID Code:4419
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:168
Deposited By:Clinical Sciences
Deposited On:1995-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-22

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