By whose standard? The affective implications of ethnic minorities' comparisons to ethnic minority and majority referents
Article first published online: 19 MAY 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 36, Issue 5, pages 747–760, September/October 2006
How to Cite
Leach, C. W. and Smith, H. J. (2006), By whose standard? The affective implications of ethnic minorities' comparisons to ethnic minority and majority referents. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 36: 747–760. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.315
- Issue published online: 13 SEP 2006
- Article first published online: 19 MAY 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 AUG 2005
- Manuscript Received: 18 DEC 2004
- NIMH. Grant Number: 1 R15 MH62096 01A1
- Sonoma State University
In a ‘diary’ study, we examined the frequency and affective implications of 34 ethnic minority students' comparisons to other ethnic minorities or to members of a high-status ethnic majority (i.e., European-Americans). Participants made more frequent comparisons to ethnic majority than ethnic minority referents, although neither type of comparison tended to be perceived in terms of group membership (see also Smith & Leach, 2004). Comparisons to ethnic majority referents did not alter participants' positive affect even where they suggested poor future prospects in status-relevant domains. In contrast, comparisons to fellow ethnic minorities led to increased positive affect when they suggested a future prospect of improvement. We discuss the conceptual and practical implications of social comparison in the context of group status. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.