Upward comparison has its self-incentive effect, but also has the feature of causing negative emotions because of the self-abasement. Therefore, this study attempts to explore the psychological contradiction of different emotional responses in the upward comparison to reveal the ambivalence, which greatly supports in understanding the self-process and psychological adaptation. The research has done under the basis of Han’s (2014) study; and further probes into emotional reaction of social comparisons by using the orthogonal design of subjects in the 2 (active and passive social comparison) x 2 (important relationship), and explores the relations between these emotional responses and psychological adaptation.
There are100 participants, average age 21 (SD=.8), 15 males and 85 females in the study. The questionnaire was based on the counterbalance method, and the subjects were randomly assigned by four different versions of questionnaire.
The results reveal that the active comparison of the presence of important people (i.e., the upward comparison by oneself when important people are present.) and the passive comparison of non-significant people (i.e. the upward comparison by non-important people) will significantly result in more negative emotions than the others. Among the negative emotions felt by "the active comparison of the presence of important people " has a particularly positive correlation with depression; in contrast, there is a significant negative correlation between life satisfaction and well-being. This result shows that the Chinese concept of dignity is not only limited to the maintenance of their own dignity, but also to the emotions of losing their dignity to others, which are likely to have more significant influence on their psychological adjustment.