Evaluating Oneself Versus Others May Affect Health

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Evaluating yourself with others who have similar health issues can have significant impact on your emotional and physical health. This hypothesis was submitted by researchers who held a qualitative synthesis of about 300 studies which focused on the association between the health and social comparisons. If one looks at other person and compares himself with him, he might feel inferior or superior to him and this is very general, says Josh Smyth. This is very common in our daily lives and we compare ourselves only when we are not confident about our performances. Till now it is proved that downward comparisons have relationship with positive feelings like gratitude and relief.

But the studies also show opposite results that upward comparison results in better health and submits a feeling of motivation that they also have the ability to improve. Individuals suffering from chronic illness generally compare themselves with other individuals who suffer from same illness. The same study reports that downward comparison can result in sadness or depression and lead to dejection also. When someone does better than us, we might either get inspired or feel depressed. The only issue is that many of us do not understand how the social comparisons work and they are often applied in the health interventions for the individuals who suffer from the chronic illness.

Arigo puts forward that the procedure of social comparison can help in improving the way they use optimistic and pessimistic examples of behavior. Emphasizing on similarities amid you and individuals is likely to lead positive feelings and emphasizing on differences amid you and other individuals can lead to negative feelings and depression. But individuals generally focus on what is linked with their mood, personality traits and various other factors which are yet not understood. This research and information will help in improving the health communication efforts.




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