4 years ago

When Peer Performance Matters: Effects of Expertise and Traits on Children's Self-Evaluations After Social Comparison

Janet J. Boseovski, Candace Lapan
The present research examined the influence of peer characteristics on children's reactions to upward social comparisons. In Experiment 1, one hundred twenty-six 5-, 8-, and 10-year-olds were told that they were outperformed by an expert or novice peer. Older children reported higher self-evaluations after comparisons with an expert rather than a novice, whereas 5-year-olds reported high self-evaluations broadly. In Experiment 2, ninety-eight 5- to 6-year-olds and 9- to 10-year-olds were told that the peer possessed a positive or negative trait that was task relevant (i.e., intelligence) or task irrelevant (i.e., athleticism). Older children reported higher self-evaluations after hearing about positive rather than negative traits, irrespective of relevance. Younger children reported high self-evaluations indiscriminately. Results inform the understanding of social comparison development in childhood.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12941

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