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Abstract

As the tendency to compare oneself with others may be associated with the tendency to focus on similarities, we hypothesized that individual differences in social comparison orientation (SCO) may moderate the consequences of upward and downward comparisons. In Study 1, high comparers were found to focus more on similarities than low comparers, suggesting that high comparers are more likely to assimilate in general. In Study 2, SCO was found to be positively associated with mood following exposure to an attractive target, and negatively associated with mood following exposure to a less attractive target. In Studies 2 and 3, SCO was found to be positively associated with self-evaluations of attractiveness following exposure to an attractive target and negatively associated with self-evaluations of attractiveness following exposure to a less attractive target. These results indicate that research on the consequences of social comparison must attend to individual differences in SCO. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.