Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Social Comparison and Peer Effects at an Elite College

Contents:

Author Info

  • Goethals, G.R.
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    A study was conducted to see whether peer effects could be observed among undergraduates at Williams College, an elite four-year liberal arts school. Specifically, the study explored whether students in the bottom third of their class, with average SAT's of about 1300, would perform better in writing about newspaper articles they read and discussed in groups of three if the two others in the group were academically superior -- from the top third of their class, with SAT's averaging about 1500 -- rather than similar -- also from the bottom third of the class. The results showed that women subjects performed better if their discussion partners were from the top third of the class, but men did better if their discussion partners were from the bottom third. Alternative analyses comparing subjects who had better or worse discussion partners as determined by the quality of their peers videotaped discussion statements, showed that across gender subjects did better written work when their discussion partners were better. The results were interpreted in terms of the principles of social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954).

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://sites.williams.edu/wpehe/files/2011/06/DP-55.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education with number DP-55.

    as in new window
    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: May 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:55

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
    Phone: 413 597 2476
    Fax: 413 597 4045
    Email:
    Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information:
    Email:

    Related research

    Keywords: EDUCATION ; SOCIETY ; UNIVERSITIES;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wil:wilehe:55. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Sheppard).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.