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social comparison

People Looking for Prestige Prefer “Big Ponds” Over Small Ones

Would you rather be the big frog in a small pond or the small frog in a big pond? The decision rests on culture: Chinese are more likely to choose the big pond than Americans.

Living Through a Tornado Does Not Shake Optimism

Even in the face of a disaster, we remain optimistic about our chances of injury compared to others, according to a new study. Residents of a town struck by a tornado thought their risk of injury from a future tornado was lower than that of peers, both a month and a year after the destructive twister. Such optimism could undermine efforts toward emergency preparedness.
After an F-2 tornado struck his town in Iowa, Jerry Suls, a psychologist at the University of Iowa who studies social comparison, turned his attention to risk perception.