The goal of the present study was to study the relationship between affective responses to social comparison and test scores among high school students. Our analyses showed that three types of responses to social comparison could be distinguished: an empathic, constructive, and destructive response. Whereas girls scored higher on empathic response, boys scored higher on destructive response. In addition, students who had a high social comparison orientation (SCO) scored higher on all three types of responses than students who expressed a low SCO. Multilevel regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for previous performance, a destructive response was negatively related to performance on tests for reading comprehension and mathematics. An empathic response was positively related to performance on reading comprehension only whereas a constructive response compensated the negative relationship between destructive response and reading comprehension. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
- Affective responses
- High school
- Social comparison
- Social comparison orientation