Social Comparison Theory Essay

1360 Words6 Pages
Throughout our lives, psychology is embedded into the way we interact, the way those around us act, and the way we act ourselves. It can be as subtle as noticing where Waldo is in a sea of people in stripes; or, it can be as obvious as the change between ten pounds and one hundred pounds. It’s fascinating, and psychology is changing constantly every single moment of our lives. It’s ideal for every individual to be mindful of these psychological matters, in order to know ourselves more and others. Within the story of Jacob, he’s introduced as someone who typically doesn’t have the time to just relax and do what he wants. However, he did have chores and bills to tend to, which he procrastinated to do often and didn’t check them off of his to-do…show more content…
Jacob then agonizes “his older brother was the successful, organized, and charismatic guy. How could he compete with that?” Jacob’s comparison of himself to his older brother is an example of a psychological theory called the social comparison theory. Social comparison theory proposes that individuals compare themselves with others to evaluate their capabilities and opinions. As Jacob compares himself to his brother, he may feel belittled or even a disappointment to his loved ones. This may be very harmful to Jacob’s mentality, or it may motivate him to improve himself. As Jacob reflects on his comparison, he asks himself, “How could I compete with that?” He then realizes that “he didn’t really think much of himself.” This illustrates and is a prime example of the consequences when an individual compares him/herself to a friend or a family member. Although, it is inevitable for Jacob’s evaluation between him and his brother to truly cause his stress levels to rise. Not only is his identity constantly straining between different expectations, he’s differentiating himself to his older brother, who is seen to be more successful and living a more acceptable
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