Intrapersonal and social comparison determinants of happiness: A range-frequency analysis

Richard H. Smith, Edward Diener, Douglas H. Wedell
1989 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
Examined whether intrapersonal comparisons and social comparisons operate in similar ways to determine ratings of happiness. Events were varied to create positively and negatively skewed distributions. The events in each distribution were ascribed to either a single person or a group of people; Ss rated how happy they would feel if they experienced specific events within the distribution. Ratings for both intrapersonal and social comparisons were fit well by Parducci's (1984) range-frequency
more » ... range-frequency theory. Individual events received higher ratings when presented within the positively skewed context. Overall happiness, as measured by both the mean of the happiness ratings as well as direct ratings, was highest for the negatively skewed distributions. The effects of skewing were more pronounced for intrapersonal comparisons, but ratings were more closely defined by the range of experimental stimuli for social comparisons. All APA members (Fellows, Members, and Associates) receive -as part of their annual dues-subscriptions to the American Psychologist, the APA Monitor, and Psychology Today. High School Teacher and Student Affiliates receive subscriptions to the APA Monitor and Psychology Today, and they can subscribe to the American Psychologist at a significantly reduced rate. In addition, all members and affiliates are eligible for savings of up to 50% on other APA journals, as well as significant discounts on subscriptions from cooperating societies and publishers (e.g.
doi:10.1037//0022-3514.56.3.317 pmid:2926632 fatcat:lzgdeq3qvzhypimegpq4bjnwoi