Students’ achievement heavily depends on who they learn with and from in school. We investigate how the habitual tendency to compare and strategic social comparison motivation influence who students seek to learn with. Specifically, we propose that a predisposition to habitual social comparison (i.e., high Social Comparison Orientation) overrides learners’ strategic social comparison motivation. In two studies, we measured students’ social comparison orientation and strategic social comparison motivation in the context of a coming cooperative learning task. We then assessed the influence of habitual tendencies and strategic social comparison motivation on students’ choice of learning partner for an upcoming learning task. Across both studies, we found that only participants who were not predisposed to habitual social comparison benefited from strategic social comparison motivation. This finding joins a growing body of work documenting the importance and impact of habitual social comparison in the context of knowledge exchange between peers.
Bibliographical noteWe thank the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung for the financial support of this research under the Eliteprogramme for Postdocs, Grant AZ Baden-Wurttemberg Stiftung 1.16101.08.
- Learning partner choice
- social comparison
- motives for social comparison
- social comparison orientation