Cultural differences in social comparison on Facebook

Hayeon Song, Emily M. Cramer, Namkee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Delving into motivations for and the impact of social comparison among students in the U.S. and South Korea, the present study examined cross-cultural differences in social comparison on Facebook. Following Helgeson and Mickelson [1995. “Motives for social comparison.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 21 (11): 1200–1209. doi:10.1177/01461672952111008.]’s framework, social comparison was studied both offline and online based on a range of motivations rather than targets of social comparison. Results suggested an insignificant effect of culture on orientation toward social comparison. However, significant cultural differences were observed in motivations for social comparison. The U.S. participants, compared to their South Korean counterparts, demonstrated a greater propensity both offline and online to engage in social comparison motivations of self-enhancement and altruism. On Facebook, South Korean participants’ social comparison motivations for self-improvement, common bond, and self-destruction were higher than those of the U.S. participants. The U.S. participants generally felt more positive and less fatigued after making comparisons on Facebook. Factors influencing post-comparison affect were also investigated between the two countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-183
Number of pages12
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Gachon University research fund of 2016 [grant number GCU-2016-81]. This work was supported by the Gachon University research fund of 2016 (GCU-2016-81).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Cultural differences in social comparison on Facebook'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this