Goal orientations and social comparison: The role of different motivations in affiliation preferences

Yoobin Park, Sun Woong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In light of previous findings that both task and ego orientations are related to engagement in social comparison, the present research aimed to investigate this association in depth by examining why and with whom task- and ego-oriented individuals engage in comparisons. In Study 1, we found that task-oriented individuals tended to prefer working with a high performer because they wanted to improve themselves. In Study 2, we provided participants with success or failure feedback before asking them to indicate partner preferences. In the face of failure, task-oriented individuals showed a preference for a high performer due to self-improvement motivation. On the contrary, ego-oriented individuals were more motivated to feel superior to others and/or less motivated to improve themselves, which in turn led them to prefer a less competent partner. The present research demonstrated that the seemingly identical relation between the two goal orientations and the tendency to engage in social comparison might be substantially different in nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-627
Number of pages11
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1


  • Downward comparison
  • Ego orientation
  • Social comparison
  • Task orientation
  • Upward comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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