The big five and identification-contrast processes in social comparison in adjustment to cancer treatment

K.I. Van der Zee*, Bram P. Buunk, Robbert Sanderman, Gerrit Botke, Fons Van Den Bergh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between social comparison processes and the Big Five personality factors. In a sample of 112 patients with various forms of cancer it was found that Neuroticism was associated with a tendency to focus on the negative interpretation of social comparison information that expressed itself in identification with fellow patients who were doing worse. This identification process also seemed to mediate the (negative) relationship between Neuroticism and post-treatment feelings of mastery and uncertainty. No relationship was found between Neuroticism and the tendency to contrast one's situation against the situation of others who are doing better. Unexpectedly, Extraversion was most strongly related to a tendency to contrast one's situation against the situation of fellow patients who are doing better. Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Intellect!Autonomy were unrelated to social comparison. The therapeutical implications of the findings for cancer patients are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-326
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999

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