Elderly persons (n= 91) were interviewed about self- perceptions of physical health and the contribution of social comparison, temporal comparison, and direct appraisal to these judgments. Consistent with previous studies, self-assessments tended to be mainly positive (67% reported their health as “good” or “excellent”), though tempered somewhat by the individual's objective physical condition (i.e., number of chronic diseases or disabilities). Independent of objective health, respondents' ratings were more negative if they mentioned thinking about past or anticipated health. Respondents were more concerned about their health if they thought about their past or anticipated health or mentioned comparing with a specific other person. Direct feedback had no effect on health ratings. Among those who reported social comparison, ratings were more positive when worse-off others were mentioned. Temporal comparisons may be associated with more negative ratings because the elderly's past health is likely to have been better and their future (anticipated) health can be expected to become worse. If using temporal and social comparison information is associated with more negative assessments then what accounts for the generally positive self-assessments? We propose that the elderly compare themselves with a cognitively constructed stereotypical standard of the frail elderly rather than with a specific other. Because few elderly actually “fit” this stereotype, most elderly feel they are doing well.