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Less is more: Why some domains are more positional than others

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  • Bogaerts, Tess
  • Pandelaere, Mario
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    Abstract

    Previous research has demonstrated that people’s concern about their position relative to a reference group (i.e., positional concern) is stronger in some domains than in others. Our survey data reveals that people care more about their relative position in domains where they have to engage in social comparison to evaluate outcomes. People thus tend to have strong positional concerns in domains with a high level of need for comparison. Moreover, we demonstrate that making social comparisons not directly elicit positional concerns, but trigger a competitive mindset making people want to be better off than others in society.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487013001050
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 225-236

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:39:y:2013:i:c:p:225-236

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: Positional concerns; Relative evaluation; Status; Social comparisons; Competition;

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