Self-esteem regulation in threatening social comparison: The roles of belief in a just world and self-efficacy

Laurent Begue1
1Université Pierre Mendès-France, France
Cite this article:  Begue, L. (2005). Self-esteem regulation in threatening social comparison: The roles of belief in a just world and self-efficacy. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 33, 69-76.

Volume 33 Issue 1 | e1379 | Published: February 2005 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2005.33.1.69

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In this study, it was hypothesized that a high belief in a just world for Self (BJW-S), coupled with high perceived self-efficacy, would contribute to preservation of self-esteem in threatening social comparison. Participants (N = 186) completed the General Self-efficacy Scale (Walliser, Schwartzer, & Jerusalem, 1993) and the BJW-S and BJW for Others (BJW-O) scales (Lipkus, Dalbert, & Siegler, 1996). They were then given either an upward (unfavorable) or downward (favorable) social comparison in the academic field. The results suggested that BJW-S (but not BJW-O) coupled with high self-efficacy contributed to maintaining self-esteem in the face of an unfavorable social comparison. However, in cases of low perceived self-efficacy, BJW-S acted in the opposite direction: when BJW-S was low, self-esteem was not affected by unfavorable social comparisons, while it decreased when BJW-S was high.

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