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No Confederates Needed: Social Comparison Without Collaboration

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A new experimental procedure for conducting social comparison experiments was developed to create artificially good and bad performers without the use of confederates. Anagram tasks of 2 different difficulty levels were presented using the fMORI technique (Mori, 2007) such that 2 tasks were viewed separately by 2 groups of viewers wearing different types of polarizing sunglasses. Those shown easier tasks would unwittingly perform those tasks better than the other group. Administration of the new procedure to replicate that used by Alicke, LoSchiavo, Zerbst, and Zhang (1997) with 40 mutually acquainted Japanese undergraduates showed that the new paradigm successfully created good and bad performers as expected. No participant noticed the trick. The results also showed that the participants attributed their performance to their own ability.
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Keywords: ANAGRAM TASKS; CONFEDERATES; FMORI TECHNIQUE; SOCIAL COMPARISON EXPERIMENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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