Social comparison of academic performance in the classroom - who compares with friends and who doesn't?

M. J. Lubbers, H. Kuyper, M. P.C. van der Werf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Past research indicated that students in secondary education compare their grades predominantly with those of friends in the classroom and that students who choose non-friends as targets tend to compare themselves more strategically. Furthermore, students' academic progress was found to benefit from comparison with nonfriends, as this was typically related with a higher level of comparison. This article investigates what distinguishes students who compare their grades with friends from students who compare their grades with non-friends: Do they have a different personality, a different level of achievement motivation, do they attend higher tracks? And do girls compare their grades more with friends than boys do? These questions were answered within the 1999 cohort of the Dutch national study of students in secondary education VOCL'99. Our results indicate that boys, more autonomous students, and students from the higher tracks have a higher tendency to compare their grades with non-friends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-179
JournalPedagogische Studien
Volume88
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2011

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